May 19, 2011

Critical Thinking – Meta Skills Portfolio

                                                                Learning to Think Critically   

Tutor's name: Austin Griffths

While doing my assignments for my Departments at the Centre for Applied Linguistics, I noticed that a great mark for the marking criteria is dedicated to the ability of students to critically analyse their topics. Therefore, I tried very hard to assess my assignments' ideas in a way I would consider all kinds of arguments in favour and against and then try painstakingly to apply critical thinking to them. However, as the MA programme was progressing, more pressure and in-depth critical thinking is becoming required. Subsequently, I followed a course on critical thinking to be able to refine these skills in my dissertation.

In the next few days we are supposed to choose three articles with empirical studies and reported results and then critique these articles from different points of views and decide to adopt one of these studies as a point of reference on which our research within our dissertation will be based. Uopn taking the ''Critical Thinking' workshop, I realised that there is a gap between my current knowledge and current way of thinking and the desired goals by my MA programme at the University of Warwick. Thus, I decided to take the next coming points of action as future orientations for my personal ans professional development.

1- First, while reading my dissertation articles, I will bear in mind to investigate the researcher bias, reliability of the study, and how the method of research was conducted.

2-Next, in order to assess my initial hypothesis, I would follow a three-phase plan to prove or disprove it. This plan involves, assessing points in favour and against, presenting challenging arguments in an unbiased way, and prove or refute articles and studies at hand.

3- Instead of taking the study results at face value, I will follow up a list of inquiries to make me better understand the context and validity of research. These questions involve in a non-linear way, knowing the size of the sample, and how the data was obtained, who is the researcher and his or her bias, and how the data was collected and analysed.

4- The last future action I will pursue a filtering approach towards jounal articles that would enable me to select, choose, and reject any article that is not within the focus of my research. By doing this, I will not only improve my academic skills, but also I will save great time and accomplish a focused study and refined research skills.

I cannot wait to see how applying these will affect my studies.


- One comment Not publicly viewable

  1. Austin Griffiths

    Hi Sam,

    I was very interested to read your comments. I think you have come up with an excellent set of Action Points. As we discussed at the workshop, Critical Thinking is as much a mindset as it is a skill. I think your points show that you have taken on board both of these elements. The key ideas of questioning and challenge are apparent in what you say.

    I look forward to seeing how things develop.


    19 May 2011, 21:25

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