What is critical thinking?

Answering the question is not easy. Like many other complex and multifaceted topics, there is no unique and unequivocal definition. It is not simply being critical, that could be confused with the attitude of saying no or with being “nit-picking”. The American philosopher John Dewey referred to it as “reflective thinking” and he was the first to associate it with an educational goal. The best definition, both for completeness and beauty is Bacon’s: “Read not to contradict and confute; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider.”

Critical thinking is a state of mind 

The ability to formulate personal opinion based on a careful and systematic analysis of other people’s opinions and views. Critical Thinking helps individuals and organizations to behave proactively instead of reactively because it allows them to analyze and assess the data coming from the environment and take informed decisions.

Why Critical Thinking is so important?

Well, changes in the information market are right in front of our eyes. They depend mainly on the amount of information available. In the past, access to information presented many obstacles: physical (books located in few places), economic (the cost of books or newspapers) and social (illiteracy of a big share of the population). Channels to get information were few compared to our time, where we are bombarded with a huge amount of news from several different channels. In our society, Critical Thinking applies extremely well because it helps us have the right amount of skepticism on what we read or see. 

We are leaving a time of alternative realities

A huge amount of information is easy to manipulate and hard to control and it is sometimes used to extremise the public opinion and to exasperate the dialogue by creating confusion. The alternative realities are the bubbles that we create thanks to social media by providing data to algorithms that try to measure, assess and profile our tastes. Based on our virtual footprint we receive the content that statistically comes closer to our interests. Critical Thinking is an effective tool that anyone can learn and that everyone should use to hold strong the driving steer of our knowledge in this turbulent ocean of information.

The MILC project and Critical Thinking

The main objective of the MILC project is to create a learning approach that will equip the Millennials with 21st Century skills in order to practice leadership based on their way of thinking and behavior. The MILC project will facilitate innovation support activities to ensure Millennials understand and take advantage of the opportunities offered by new innovative concepts, methodologies and approaches. As you may have already guessed, Critical Thinking is one of the 21st Century skills and developing it could be highly beneficial for any field of work. After all, any company needs people that can solve problems effectively by systematically gathering information about an issue, generating further ideas involving a variety of perspectives and evaluating the information using logic. So, how are you with critical thinking?