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Critical Thinking in Mathematics and Natural Sciences Essay

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Knowledge is generated through the interaction of critical and creative thinking. As an IB student in high school we are faced with problems that involve us using our minds for critical thinking. It is hard for students to engage their creative thinking in times when it is critical. We are rarely encouraged to use our creative minds during problems. In this world there are logical answers that is probed using critical thinking. But what is the right situation to use critical thinking? Can critical and creative thinking be used and interact with each other in certain problems or maybe all problems? In this essay I will focus on mathematics and natural sciences as two areas of knowledge.
Dictionary.com defines critical thinking as “Involving skillful judgment as to truth, merit.” Mathematics is an area of knowledge where critical thinking is key. Many find difficulty in doing well in math because they are not intact with the critical thinking. There are many definitions of critical thinking, but I believe that it means grasping the deeper meaning of problems. Critical thinking can and should be used, not only in the classroom but outside it as well.
Robert J. Sternberg (1985) believed that most schools that teach critical thinking are basically flawed. He believes that these schools focus much on formal reasoning tasks and not enough on the critical thinking skills needed in everyday life. In IB, we need to be able to recognize that problems exist and define the problems more precisely. When using critical thinking we have to observe and evaluate the problem in a way that does not interact with being self-contained.
Sternberg lists four critical thinking skills that are very important. These involve (1) obtaining information...


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...ical thinkers will be used and not creative and vice versa. In conclusion, knowledge is generated through the interaction of critical and creative thinking. In every course and curriculum we take we are challenged critically and creatively. Some courses involve more of creative thinking such as the arts, but it also involves critical. Hand in hand, creative and critical thinking generates great knowledge.



Works Cited

Crane, John, and Jette Hannibal. "What Is Psychology?" IB Diploma Programme: Psychology Course Companion. Oxford: Oxford Univ., 2009. 14-15. Print.

"Research Uncovers Children's Creative Mathematical Thinking." Children's Mathematics Network. Web. 16 Oct. 2011. .

Santrock, John W. "Thinking and Language." Psychology. Madison, WI: Brown & Benchmark, 1997. 253-54. Print.


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