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At first glance I would have easily determined that I was a Stage 5 – Advanced Thinker; but as I read and reflected on Paul and Elder’s stages of development, analyzed the stages and honestly evaluated myself. I was a bit embarrassed to think that I am just “becoming” a Stage 4 Practicing Thinker, not yet anywhere near advanced or accomplished in my thinking.
I look forward to utilizing all ten strategies to improve; but as the text cautions, starting with a few will aid in not get too overwhelmed. At first, I thought that I would go in order; as that seemed like a systematic approach but knowing myself, I wanted to start with strategies that would be building blocks. This will encourage and excite me, causing me to move forward and embrace additional strategies to becoming a more critical thinker. I have selected the following three strategies to improve my thinking: Strategy Seven – Deal with your ego, Strategy Eight – Defining the way you see things, and Strategy Nine – Getting in touch with your emotions. I will use emotional intelligence to enhance and support these strategies along with the guiding questions for each in chapter two.
In reading the text, the authors do an excellent job of breaking down steps and stages to help the reader understand who they are, where they are, and how to move to a higher level of critical thinking. I perceive that one strength I have is being a fairminded thinker.
Fairmindedness entails the predisposition to consider all relevant viewpoints equally, without reference to one’s own feelings or selfish interests, or the feelings or selfish interests of one’s friends, community, or nation. It implies adherence to intellectual standards (such as accuracy, sound logic, and breadth of vision), uninfluenced by one’s own advantage or the advantage of one’s group. (Elder & Paul, 2013, p. 5)
I am quite comfortable mediating other’s problems to problem solve, but I find that one area of growth I need to expand upon is sharing my view and not just agreeing with someone, whether it is professionally or personally, but sharing my view. I find that I am uncomfortable with most conflict, I will listen to their side, but for the sake of “getting along” I will not challenge their belief system, just move the conversation to another topic.
To develop this growth area, I will reflect on Stage Seven and reflect on why I didn’t speak my mind and if I will end up resenting that person. Elder and Paul (2013) found that you need to ask yourself what a rational person feel in that situation and what would they say or do and compare it with what you did. This will be my plan.