Critical thinking is a very valuable skill especially for Chinese students studying in the US. It can be simply understood as the process of making decisions that are aimed at solving various problems. You may be asking yourself why critical thinking is important in college: it provides you with an intellectual approach to any kind of information you come across. This is a process that plays a fundamental role in making choices both at the college level as well as at the job market.
International students, especially Chinese, are required to put more effort than their American peers in their activities due to the fact that they are far away from home, their language knowledge is not perfect and the difference in mentality is striking. So, what does this have to do with critical thinking? Why is critical thinking important in college? Well, with this skill you can do the following
Evaluate and Improve Your Own Thinking Processes
While using critical thinking skills you can communicate effectively with others while trying to come up with solutions to different problems. It results in better communication with professors and fellow students. In the long run you are likely to experience better grades and improved relationships with your peers.
Critical thinking helps you to think open-mindedly in situations that require analytical thinking and assessment. And when you come across something you don’t know or understand, critical thinking pushes you further to explore the depths of the given information and try your limits of comprehension.
Better Deal with Stressful Situations
This is another reason as to why critical thinking is important in college. Chinese students in the US are likely to face a myriad of problems due to the change of the environment, language barriers, etc. With good critical thinking abilities you can easily come up with solutions that may help you deal with stressful situations in a more effective and simpler way.
Raise Vital Questions and Find Solutions to Problems
This is achieved through gathering and assessing relevant information. With this information you can come up with abstract ideas, interpret them effectively and come to well researched conclusions and solutions.
Become a Better Team Player
Critical thinking allows you to develop your team work skills and assess effectively the situation you are in. You are also able to better interact with your peers as well as solve any possible conflicts or problems that may arise in your day-to-day lives. This is because you get to be a great listener and collaborator when working in a group with other non-Chinese nationalities.
Critical thinking is important in college especially among the Chinese students as it helps them to better understand international processes as well as encourages them to be more experimental and to question the different aspects of life. Additionally, critical thinking has been known to lead to prudence and reasonability that most employers find valuable. This is why Chinese students who show critical thinking capabilities are likely to land better jobs in the US.
About Jessica Dong
Jessica Dong is a 21-year-old student from Beijing. She studies business development in the USA and dreams of running her own company. Jessica is a socially active student with interest in traveling, social media and entertainment.
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The importance of critical thinking
Critical thinking is a core academic skill that teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students to question or reflect on their own knowledge and information presented to them. This skill is essential for students working on assignments and performing research. It’s also an invaluable skill in many workplace scenarios. In this week’s blog we discuss what critical thinking is, how it applies to the workplace and how to develop this crucial skill.
What is critical thinking?
Critical thinking is not just being critical in the typical, negative sense of the word; there are many definitions but according to Barry K. Beyer (1995), critical thinking means ‘making clear, reasoned judgments’.
A successful critical thinker questions perceived knowledge, rejects anecdotal or non-scientific evidence and examines the source of all information. He or she is open-minded and well-informed, able to judge the quality of an argument and draw cautious yet evidence-based conclusions.
It’s important for academic students because it enables them to produce essays and papers that are free from personal or societal bias.
How is it developed while studying?
With the support of their tutor and fellow students, learners must become skilled at assessing each source of information to determine its merit before using it as a reference.
Before utilising a statistic, quotation or piece of research to reinforce their argument in an assignment or discussion, students should check the source carefully to ensure that it was produced by a reliable source. That source needs to be based on solid evidence and should not suffer from research bias.
Assignments based on flimsy or badly-researched source materials will receive lower grades as the conclusions drawn are only as reliable as the data they are based on.
Critical thinking is developed naturally over the course of study as students learn to scrutinise evidence and dissect opposing arguments.
How does it apply to the workplace?
Many people considering undergraduate or postgraduate study focus their attention only on the subject-specific skills that they will develop, e.g. they assume that a law degree will only help them to progress in a legal-related role.
However, this is not the case; while it’s true that a law course covers many law-related topics, it will also develop your general communication, presentation, writing, analytical and critical thinking skills.
These skills can then be used in the workplace in many ways, depending on the industry. For example, a manager could use their critical thinking skills to evaluate sales and financial data, or to review a project proposal.
By remaining detached from sudden fluctuations in data and emotional sales pitches, employees with critical thinking skills are able to see the bigger picture and avoid making hasty (and costly!) decisions.
Employees with critical thinking skills can also use these to improve their company through market research and by recognising opportunities. By researching the competition and their practices, assessing what is successful, these employees can help their company spot opportunities for growth, expansion or product development. Getting ahead of market trends before anyone else gives the company a valuable edge in the marketplace.
So in summary, critical thinking is a vital skill in both academia and the world of work. It is developed naturally during undergraduate and postgraduate study, and has applications in almost every industry and role.
Do you want to develop your critical thinking skills? Why not download our prospectus today and find a course to help you.