Sometimes a simple internet search of a term that I am using repeatedly in my work can lead to new insights. During a lively conversation with friends analyzing the challenges of teaching and learning a language, we talked about the need to shift from memorizing and rote learning to reflective thinking and critical thinking. In the dialogue, the question came up of whether reflective thinking in the U. So I looked up some definitions. Below is my favorite posted on the University of Hawaii website, and including some classroom tips.
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Understanding Critical Theory
Critical thinking is the analysis of facts to form a judgment. Critical thinking is self-directed , self-disciplined , self- monitored , and self- corrective thinking. It entails effective communication and problem-solving abilities as well as a commitment to overcome native egocentrism   and sociocentrism. The earliest records of critical thinking are the teachings of Socrates recorded by Plato. These included a part in Plato's early dialogues, where Socrates engages with one or more interlocutors on the issue of ethics such as question whether it was right for Socrates to escape from prison. Socrates established the fact that one cannot depend upon those in "authority" to have sound knowledge and insight. He demonstrated that persons may have power and high position and yet be deeply confused and irrational.
Critical writing: Descriptive vs critical
Any time you read literary materials or experience something that requires you to comprehend it, you employ a variety of thinking skills. Thinking skills relate to the way in which you process and understand information, and you employ specific thinking skills based on what you wish to gain from your thoughts. Analytical and critical thinking are two styles of thinking skills that are commonly used, but employed for different purposes. Analytical thinking describes a thinking style that enables a person to break down complex information or a series of comprehensive data.
Critical theory is a social theory oriented toward critiquing and changing society as a whole. It differs from traditional theory, which focuses only on understanding or explaining society. Critical theories aim to dig beneath the surface of social life and uncover the assumptions that keep human beings from a full and true understanding of how the world works. Critical theory emerged out of the Marxist tradition and was developed by a group of sociologists at the University of Frankfurt in Germany who referred to themselves as The Frankfurt School.