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Criticacal Thinking And Problem Solving : Decision Making
0 Downloads | 5 Pages 1,178 Words | Published Date: 01/03/2018
As a social work student, throughout this session, I have learned to appreciate the peaceful, yet exhilarating moment when dealing with various cases of social problems. Since I was a young boy, I had the passion of becoming a community counsellor and at the same time serve as a community resource mobilizer. To achieve these, I needed to have excellent critical thinking and problem solving skills. However, towards the end of my high school, I almost gave up on my pursuit of this career path as most of my friends had discouraged me that critical thinking was a very difficult and complicated field and that those who pursued this course in most cases ended up being hard liners as they argued on every issue.
Nonetheless, my studies in critical thinking and problem solving this session have left me with a completely different notion about this field. My lecturer, Dr Angelina Zubac has proved to be a very resourceful person.
I have always been a thinker, but all along the session, my critical analysis skills have greatly been sharpened. Through the study of Prospect Theory, I learned how to choose between two alternative risky situations where I learned that when presented with two situations that are risky in nature, I should choose the one that will give me more benefits in terms of financial gain or that situation that will save me from incurring losses (Boyd & Fales, 1983). Moreover, I studied another theory that can help me in problem solving whenever faced by a difficult situation; Expected Utility Theory, which I learned that it is premised on the assumption that when faced with a situation that has an uncertain outcome; I should focus on a solution that at the end will satisfy my need (Langer & Colton, 1994).
Through a workshop organised in week 2 of my study, I had a chance to listen to several problems and to taste my problem solving and critical thinking skills. I was involved in a dialogue with Susan, one of my group members. Through the dialogue, I was able to observe how she presented her issues and gave my views. This I had learned was a process to help enhance my critical thinking skills through listening to and analysing other people’s issues.
To retain the information I had acquired during presentations, I recorded all the activities including dialogue and presentations using my smartphone. Furthermore, to enhance my critical thinking skills, I read on-line materials such as essays, research papers, publications and proposals by various world known authors on critical thinking such as Plato. For instance, Plato’s writing on the “Allegory of the Cave” was really fascinating and sharpened my analysis of situations from a critical point of view (Kennison, 2006).
I discovered that to be a good decision maker, I have to compromise as this will enable me achieve the objective of either the organisation or management. In whatever decision I make, I ought to ensure that there is no conflict with other people’s decision and to achieve this, I must always strike a compromise (Frederick, 2005). Moreover, there must be rationality in my decisions.
Oral presentations and debates enhanced my communication skills and reduced the anxiety I have always had during presentations. I learned that a good decision maker ought to embrace high self-efficacy skills such as being courageous, active, competent and optimistic. It also entails having high self-esteem and employing the use of high social integration skills (Paternoster & Pogarsky, 2009). These skills were further sharpened through practical learning experiences such as debating, presentations in workshops and in the classroom.
Through watching videos, my decision making skills were further enhanced.
I have always assumed the responsibility of leadership throughout all stages of my study. For instance, I served as a class prefect and school captain respectively at primary school and secondary school. When I joined the university, I really had the desire to continue and to advance this passion. It was therefore my goal to serve as a student leader at the university. To achieve this goal, I needed to acquire good leadership skills which I have learned requires good decision making and critical thinking skill (Lipman, 1987). This was surely the right class session for me. Despite the constraints I faced such as a tight work schedule, anxiety during class presentations and during debates and lack of a smart phone, I managed to acquire the skills. Through help from my family, I was able to afford a smart phone which I used to record presentations for future review and to access online learning information on decision making and critical thinking skills.
The session has really been of help to me as my leadership skills have been enhanced. I learned that a good leader ought to possess decision making skills such as influencing and persuading skills, appreciating other people’s views, how to agree and disagree amicably and how to present my views (Profetto-McGrath, 2005). Today using the acquired skills, I can gladly vie for the leadership position. The leadership skills acquired are not only of great help in my university student leadership position but will also help me in my community service and in my future life leadership roles.
Based on the knowledge I have I acquired I believe I am ready to take up my roles as a community mobilizer and as a social worker since my decision making and critical thinking skills have been sharpened. By taking up these roles, my skills will be sharpened even more as I will have a chance to exercise my learned skills and to face on-field challenges and devise ways to overcome the challenges. My passion in decision making having been awakened and will see me read further on similar topics to expand my knowledge beyond limits. Furthermore, having acquired leadership skills throughout the session, I believe I am ready to take up leadership responsibilities at the university and later even try the field of leadership at the national level.
Langer, G. M., & Colton, A. B. (1994). Reflective Decision Making: The Cornerstone of School Reform. Journal of Staff Development, 15(1), 2-7.
Boud, D. (2001). Using journal writing to enhance reflective practice. New directions for adult and continuing education, 2001(90), 9-18.
Frederick, S. (2005). Cognitive reflection and decision making. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 19(4), 25-42.
Paternoster, R., & Pogarsky, G. (2009). Rational choice, agency and thoughtfully reflective decision making: The short and long-term consequences of making good choices. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 25(2), 103-127.
Lipman, M. (1987). Critical thinking: What can it be?. Analytic Teaching, 8(1).
Profetto-McGrath, J. (2005). Critical thinking and evidence-based practice. Journal of Professional Nursing, 21(6), 364-371.
Kennison, M. M. (2006). The evaluation of students' reflective writing for evidence of critical thinking. Nursing Education Perspectives, 27(5), 269-273.
Boyd, E. M., & Fales, A. W. (1983). Reflective learning key to learning from experience. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 23(2), 99-117.
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