STU 200 - Becoming a Critical Thinker
3 Credits, 3 Contact Hours
3 lecture periods 0 lab periods
Introduction to the development and application of critical thinking strategies. Includes fundamentals of critical thinking and application of thinking skills to everyday issues. Also includes exploration of the following topics: bias, perception, and beliefs; critical questioning; reporting, inferring and judging; argumentation; language and thought; creativity and critical thinking; and critical thinking about the media.
Recommendation: Completion of REA 091 before enrolling in this course or concurrent enrollment. If any recommended course is taken, see a financial aid or Veteran’s Affairs advisor to determine funding eligibility as appropriate.
Course Learning Outcomes
1. Discuss critical thinking fundamentals, such as the cognitive process, self-knowledge, personal honesty, resistance to manipulation, intellectual independence, and enhancing creativity.
2. Apply critical thinking skills, including higher order questioning, to everyday problems, morals, and issues in society, personal life, and mass media.
3. Discuss bias, beliefs, and perceptual influences on self and others.
4. Differentiate between factual reporting, inferring, and judging.
5. Describe elements of sound argumentation such as validity, soundness, and cue words.
6. Describe the importance of precision, emotion, and thoughts in use of language.
- Understanding the Fundamentals
- Definition of critical thinking
- Characteristics of critical thinkers
- Behavior of critical thinkers
- Connections between critical and creative thinking
- Developing creativity for critical thinkers
- Learning and understanding higher order thinking
- Exploring situations with questions
- Application of Thinking Skills to Everyday Issues
- Personal life
- Social and moral issues
- Mass media
- Internet and social media
- Perception and Beliefs
- Personal viewpoints and biases
- Organizing perceptions
- Recognizing differences in accounts/sources of the same event or issue.
- Stages of knowing
- Critical thinking about beliefs
- Reliability of sources
- Evaluating and applying knowledge
- Reporting, Inferring, and Judging
- Reporting and discerning factual information
- Making inferences
- Making judgments
- Cue words for arguments
- Evaluating arguments
- Language and Thought
- Using precise language to clarify thinking
- Emotive language
- Irrational language
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