A. Choose a particular content domain (e.g., math, science, history, English literature) and give two examples that critical thinking in that domain might entail. Your examples should reflect two of the following forms of critical thinking: • Verbal reasoning • Argument analysis • Probabilistic reasoning • Hypothesis testing
B. Transfer what you have learned about transfer and problem solving to a professional situation in which you might find yourself. More specifically: a. Using either an educational or therapeutic context, describe a specific idea or principle you might want students or clients to apply outside the educational or therapeutic setting. In particular, describe what information you would want them to learn within the educational or therapeutic context, and how you hope they would transfer it in dealing with the outside world. b. Explain how your students’ or clients’ success in transferring this information and/or using it to solve problems might be more or less successful depending on: i. How they encode/store the original information, and the extent to which they elaborate on it ii. How they encode/store the transfer/problem-solving situation, and the extent to which they elaborate on that situation
C. Explain how learners’ epistemic beliefs may vary in terms of each of the following: • The certainty of knowledge • The simplicity and structure of knowledge • The source of knowledge • The criteria for determining truth • The speed of learning • The nature of learning ability Explain, too, how learners’ beliefs regarding each of these things are likely to influence their approaches to specific learning tasks.
D. Describe the roles that the following four factors play in problem solving, and illustrate each factor’s role with a concrete example: i. Working memory capacity, ii. Encoding processes, iii. Long-term memory retrieval, iv. Metacognition
A) Critical thinking refers to evaluating one's thoughts in order to make valid judgments.For example,choosing a topic from Science, the process of Condensation and Evaporation. Being a topic of Science, it has to fulfill a Hyothesis testing. In this case it would be, 'Does condensation lead to Evaporation upon heating?'. Once, this hypothesis is fulfilled then the researcher uses his/her Verbal reasoning in order to understand the topic from its practical applicability point of view. For example, 'Is rain a result of condensation and evaporation?'
Similarly, an individual while solving mathematical problems mostly uses Verbal reasoning along with Probabilistic reasoning.
B) Transfer refers to our capability of applying learned information in new situations. Problem solving refers to our tendency to find solutions.
a) For example, a group of students may learn about 'Personal Hygiene' in their Lifeskills classes. Theoretically, it would be enough for them to know the definition of Personal Hygiene and the consequences of not following it. However, this information needs to be transferred to their personal lives when they actually practice the principles of Personal Hygiene.
b) The success rates of the students practicing the lessons of Personal Hygiene would depend upon:
i) Encoding and Storing original information: This means that the students need to remember the theoretical knowledge gained about Personal Hygiene.
ii) Encoding and Storing transfer/problem solving situation: This means the actual application of the theories.
C) Epistemic beliefs:
i) The certainty of knowledge: Learning would depend upon how reliable and certain the matter is for the learner. Vague and abstract concepts might require more effort on the learner's part to transfer the learning.
ii) Simplicity and Structure of knowledge: Learning takes place better if the information is simple and well-structured.
iii) The source of knowledge: This refers to where the information has originated from.
iv) The criteria for determining the truth: This refers to the standards or rules used to judge the accuracy of claims and statements.
v) The speed of learning: This refers to the rate in which a learner learns and the impact it has on the learning.
vi) Nature of learning ability: Individuals have different learning abilities which shape the way they interpret and transfer information.
D) The roles of the given factors:
i) Working memory capacity: Working memory is that part of memory that briefly holds information that enters the brain. For example, mental maths are a way of problem solving that takes place in the working memory.
ii) Encoding processes: When a piece of information that a sense organ perceives is found interesting, the cognitive process starts encoding it. This information gets stored in the brain for a few seconds and is generally found within the short term memory. For example, a new word seen in a book or an OTP that is required to verify a transaction, gets encoded and the information stays for a few seconds in the short term memory.
iii) Long term memory retrieval: Information reaches LTM from STM. These can be retrieved using retrieval cues, free recall, association and other techniques. For example: a certain date reminds a person of a certain event. This is because the date and the event has been associated.
iv) Metacognition: This is the ability to control one's thinking process through strategies such as organizing, adapting and monitoring. This is a higher level problem solving where a person takes his/her own decisions to come to a conclusion. For example: when a person is driving a car, there is matacognition involved when he needs to make decisions on the road, monitor his speed and adapt to the roads.
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