The Importance of Critical Thinking in Education

Rainbolt and Dawyer (2012, p.5) define the critical thinking is “the skill of making decisions based on good reasons”. McPeck (1981) as cited in Mason (2008), on the other hand, said that critical thinking is related to a subject, which needs an in-depth understanding, about it. Based on that, critical thinking should cover both definitions that include the skills and knowledge in the particular areas to be able in making reasonable decisions. Bassham (2011) state that, at least, there are three benefits of critical thinking in the education system.

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The first function is that critical thinking can significantly increase the student’s ability to understand the topics in college textbooks or classes (Bassham, 2011). The enhancement of this strength can be gained by practicing their critical thinking in conversation or discourse about the topics. In addition, if people can not think critically, the facts they know are just floating around in their head and do not know how to use it. According to Rainbolt and Dwyer (2012, p.6), people must use critical thinking skills “to understand details, to put them into context, and to see how they are connected to each other”. The understanding will come through with frequent experiencing on working or discussing with others. Because of that, people should challenge and questioning everything related to the topics. The prominent benefit is people who can develop it, they will get more about the subjects that they are studying or arguing (Cottrell, 2005).

Secondly, critical thinking can help the student critically to assess what they are learning (Bassham, 2011). At this stage, they not only attempt to learn all the training materials but also criticize the topic that being discussing or debating. This skill has plays a significance role for people in gaining heady experience in the learning process. People would explore their ideas and deliver the arguments in a study which will improve both their criticize skill and critical thinking skill itself. Besides that, critical thinking skill will lead people to develop their problem solving skill which will encourage them to make judgments about what has happened and how to overcome the problems (University of Hawaii, 2013). People

would become a smart problem solver and efficient thinker in their life when they have these experiences. The last one is that critical thinking can lead the students to produce their own ideas on the topics (Bassham, 2011). People who practice the critical thinking will increase their understanding and evaluate what they are learning. As the result, Judge et al. (2009, p.4) said that people can “present a-well-constructed argument” based on their knowledge or experiences in their everyday life.

In conclusion, Abdi (2012, pp.1719-1723) said that critical thinking is “one of the important missions of higher education”. It has played significant roles in support the education system to enhance people’s ability to think, analyze and communicate their understanding in an efficient, moderate and reasonable thought’s way. Critical thinking also has led people to produce the inventions and developments from time to time that changing the life better than yesterday (Rainbolt and Dwyer, 2012).

References : Abdi, A. (2012) “A study on the relationship of thinking styles of students and their critical thinking skills.” Procedia Journal of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 47, 2012, 1719-1723. Bassham, G., Irwin, W., Nardone, H. and Wallace, J. M. (2011) Critical Thinking A Student’s

Introduction. Fourth Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill Cottrell, S. (2005) Critical Thinking Skills: Developing Effective Analysis and Argument. New York: Palgrave Macmillan Judge, B., Jones, P. and McCreery, E. (2009) Critical Thinking Skills for Education Students. Exeter: Learning Matters Mason, M. (ed.) (2008) Critical Thinking and Learning. Victoria: Blackwell Publishing Rainbolt, G. W. and Dwyer, S. L. (2012) Critical Thinking The Art of Argument. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning