There are important skills that every student should learn, whether they are in high school, community college, or at an affluent university. These skills include the ability to gain knowledge through critical thinking, and then applying that skill and knowledge to the processes of active reading and effective writing. The skills of critical thinking, active reading, and effective writing are valuable, not only for students, but for any individual in order to be the most articulate, knowledgeable, and contributing person that one can be.There are many definitions of critical thinking to be found. For one study the critical thinking was restricted to refer to students abilities to identify issues and assumptions, recognize important relationships, make correct inferences, evaluate evidence or authority, and deduce conclusions, (Tsui, 2002, p. 743). This definition was refined for the purposes of easier interviewing and evaluating for that particular study.
[...] Critical thinking, active reading, and effective writing are important skills for all people to learn. Not all educators emphasize these skills as much as they should, but the growth of liberal arts colleges shows that this is changing. Most colleges and universities now boast about how they develop critical thinking skills and all that goes along with them, including active reading and effective writing. This growth makes it all the more evident that perhaps these skills are important for more than just college students and professionals. [...]
[...] Critical thinking skills are not only necessary for college students seeking to do well and obtain their degree, but they are also imperative in their future career fields, including social work. For a college student, this is the time when critical thinking skills begin to form the most. Perhaps this is because “these days it is hardly possible to flip through a college catalogue without confronting the words ‘critical thinking' among the number of skills that an institution boasts to develop in its students,” (Tsui p.320). [...]
[...] Practical skills for social workers, students, and all individuals also include the application of critical thinking to active reading and effective writing. Active reading skills require the use of critical thinking as one works to best read and understand material. There is not an abundance of information available about the process of active reading, but it is evident that it is an important and useful skill for all individuals. One website about reading strategies describes active reading as broad term used to describe strategies used while one reads in order to improve comprehension and retention (http://www.jackson.k12.ky.us/readingstrategies/glossary.htm). [...]
[...] I know that I will continue to use these skills regularly even after I have finished college as well. Going into social work, I know that all of these skills are important and used almost daily. But not only will I use them in my professional life as a social worker, I will also continue to use them in my personal life as I do the things that enjoy most. Reading and writing are two of my favorite activities and things that I will not stop doing for a very long time. [...]
[...] Using critical thinking and active writing helps social workers to discern the relevant information, they need in order to do their job the most effectively. Sometimes this means reading through journal articles or reports, other times it means skimming through case files before meeting a new client in order to learn more about them. Either way it is necessary to use critical thinking in order to determine what information is relevant and useful for their situation, which also uses active reading skills in the process. [...]
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