Week 5 Discussion 1 Foundations

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Discussion: Common Sense, Science, Beliefs, and Critical Thinking

If you are like most people, you probably have opinions on just about everything. Have you ever thought about your opinions and whether they are based on common sense, your personal beliefs, or science? Does it make a difference? How do common sense, personal beliefs, and science factor into the ability to think critically and into being a scholar-practitioner? How does the perseverance of personal beliefs influence one’s ability? In this Discussion, you explore the answers to these questions and learn how to use evidence to balance common sense, beliefs, and science.

To prepare:

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources, focusing on the concepts of critical thinking and belief perseverance.
  • Think about the differences between and among common sense, science, and beliefs.
  • Consider how the differences between common sense and science and the connections between common sense and beliefs relate to critical thinking and to being a scholar-practitioner in your area(s) of interest.
  • Identify at least one strategy you might employ (or have employed) to ensure that you think critically in the presence of your personal belief system.

By Day 3

Post an explanation of the relationships between and among common sense, science, personal beliefs, and critical thinking. Next, explain the role each of these four elements plays in the practice of scholarship. Then, provide your own definition of belief perseverance and explain how it influences critical thinking. Finally, share at least one strategy that you might employ to ensure that you think critically in the presence of your personal belief system.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Analyze the relationships among common sense, science, personal beliefs, and critical thinking
  • Analyze the role common sense, science, personal beliefs, and critical thinking play in the practice of scholarship
  • Analyze the influence of belief perseverance on critical thinking
  • Analyze critical thinking strategies
  • Evaluate academic writing

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Learning Resources

Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

Douglas, N. L. (2000). Enemies of critical thinking: Lessons from social psychology research. Reading Psychology, 21(2), 129–144.
Note: Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Friedman, S. (2004). Learning to make more effective decisions: Changing beliefs as a prelude to action. The Learning Organization, 11(2/3), 110–128.
Note: Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Elder, L., & Paul, R. (2013). Becoming a critic of your thinking. Retrieved from http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/becoming-a-c…

Foundation for Critical Thinking. (2013). The Critical Thinking Community. Retrieved from http://www.criticalthinking.org/

Foundation for Critical Thinking. (2013). The Role of Socratic Questioning in Thinking, Teaching, and Learning. Retrieved from http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/the-role-of-…

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