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Critical Thinking

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Critical Thinking

Critical thinking can mean different things to different people. Many people have developed new definitions of critical thinking. One of the definitions is "Critical thinking is the identification and evaluation of evidence to guide decision making." (2005). One other definition of critical thinking is "critical thinking is the art of thinking about thinking while thinking in order to make thinking better. It involves three interwoven phases: it analyzes thinking, it evaluates thinking, it improves thinking" (Paul & Elder; 2006).

An example of using critical thinking in the workplace would be working at a homeless shelter and connecting clients with resources that he/she would be qualified for that are available throughout the local county. When looking into resources that are available it is essential that staff members do not look only look at the normal resources but also look at the new not so common resources. This requires the use of critical thinking. Staff members must evaluate the information made available by the client as well as the information made available through the agency providing the resource. Some of the agencies that Safe Horizons collaborates with also require the staff member to evaluate the client's motivational level. When contacting other agencies it is imperative that staff members have a sense of what the client is trying to accomplish and what services the client is in need of to achieve his/her goals. Critical thinking is essential during these tasks because staff members must think about what is going on with client, evaluate the information made available, and decide which services what services would be the most beneficial to the client.

Another example of using critical thinking in the workplace is in staffing decisions. When additional staff members are needed at Safe Horizons it is the responsibility of the executive director to decide how many staff members are needed and what their responsibilities will be. This requires the use of critical thinking. Deciding where to advertise for the available positions requires critical thinking. The director must first look at what information is available through job descriptions and also the information made available through the different advertising possibilities. According to Jenny McReady, Executive Director of Safe Horizons, critical thinking is necessary when looking at applications and/or resumes to decide which applicants will be selected for an interview. Once the interviews are completed, the director and the program manager must use critical thinking to decide which applicant will be hired.

Critical thinking is important to use because it allows for staff members at every level of the agency to think about the services provided. Critical thinking also allows for staff members to be creative when conducting case management.



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