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Hands On Technology Transfer

Critical Thinking: Now More Than Ever

Do employees and/or new hires really need training on critical thinking?

Critical Thinking Course Description

On-Demand Training

Famous Failures in Critical Thinking

Take a quick look at some examples where failures in critical thinking brought about disasterous results for enterprises.

In the beginning...

Throughout virtually all of human history, most citizens really did not need to know much to survive. Almost everyone worked on a farm or in a farm-related business, and the knowledge required for such activities was easily passed down through families and apprenticeships. Into the early 1800's, when roughly 90% of all jobs were farm-related, this system served mankind well.

Things began to change with the industrial revolution, as more and more jobs required that workers be adept at reading, writing, and arithmetic; by 1900, farmers made up a mere 38% of the US workforce. Therefore, in the 1800's, a public education system evolved to meet the need for properly educated workers.

In the 1900's, to prepare citizens for life in the industrial age, modern western education took it to the next level and consciously moved toward the teaching of STEM topics (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) as the world became more technical. Meanwhile, the teaching of logic, reasoning, and the so-called liberal arts (philosophy, literature, sociology, ethics, languages, art, music) decreased.

Things change

Then, again, things changed. Since WWII, the US manufacturing/agriculture economy has shrunk to a mere 12% of all jobs, and jobs in the services/information economy now account for 79% of jobs. The industrial age is over, and we are now living in the information age. That means that the jobs are no longer in the factories and on the farms, but in fields like advertising, accounting, business services, education, entertainment, fashion, financial services, healthcare, hospitality, information technology (programming, interface design, etc.), insurance, intellectual property, language, law, management, professional services, small businesses, the skilled trades, retail trade, tourism, and transportation.

On-Demand Training

Critical Thinking
for the 21st Century

A one-of-a-kind course that will improve
the job performance of all employees

The key skill

The key skill in the age of information – the skill that is universally required for participation in the service and technology economy – is the ability to think critically. Critical thinking is the art and science of forming a judgment, making a decision, or determining the truth based on analysis that is objective, logical, logically consistent, fair, and informed by evidence. If you can think critically, you can do anything. With a solid foundation in critical thinking, workers are truly prepared for the information age.

When do we learn about Critical Thinking?

Unfortunately, while the phrase critical thinking gets a fair amount of lip service, critical thinking has actually been all but ignored in western education during our lifetimes. You can take college courses in logic, but most people never do. And regardless, critical thinking is much more than mere logic. To think critically, you need a fundamental understanding of a wide range of topics, including: logic, effective reasoning and argument, basic science, how brain biology affects your thinking, how to find and assess reliable information sources, biases, rudimentary statistics, and decision-making.

If you look hard enough, you can find courses that touch on various aspects of critical thinking. There are courses in logic, courses in reasoning, courses on analysis, science, criticism, memory, persuasion, manipulation, the media, research, biases, fallacies, statistics, and even decision-making. But all of those courses – every single one – miss the mark in some way. Most go into far more detail on a small piece of the puzzle than people need, taking too long to teach too much about things of too little importance at too high a cost. Others are completely academic and without real-world value, and emphasize terminology and definitions at the expense of comprehension and practical application. Few take a truly practical approach. And none are broad enough; all offer at best some tiny part of the solution, a fraction of the knowledge and training needed.

Why we all need to learn to think critically

Alfred Mander, educator, writer and public servant, put it beautifully:

Thinking is skilled work. It is not true that we are naturally endowed with the ability to think clearly and logically — without learning how, or without practicing. It is ridiculous to suppose that any less skill is required for thinking than for carpentering, or for playing tennis, golf, or bridge, or for playing some musical instrument. People with untrained minds should no more expect to think clearly and logically than those people who have never learned and never practiced can expect to find themselves good carpenters, golfers, bridge-players, or pianists. Yet our world is full of people who apparently do suppose that thinking is entirely unskilled work.

— Alfred Ernest Mander. (1947.) Logic for the Millions. p. vii. New York, Philosophical Library.

The solution

Hands On Technology Transfer has created a comprehensive 28 hour on-demand course that teaches all these topics and provides a foundation that will improve the thinking and job performance of even the most highly educated and self-assured individuals, while remaining accessible to all by avoiding the jargon, unnecessary detail and gratuitous complexity.

Whether for on-boarding or career development, Critical Thinking for the 21st Century offers a spectacular opportunity for human resources personnel to provide a unique tool and increase the effectiveness and performance of all employees. While a single user can take the course for a mere $1,495, bulk purchases can go for as little as $200 per student. Call for details on bulk pricing (978-250-4299) or click here to view the course description.

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