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Today’s Online Learning on Critical Thinking Skills will reflect on the previous lessons and introduce the topic of Culture. 


Critical Thinking Skills is not about being descriptive. We will need to offer some description, but we need to go beyond simply describing what happened in a story or repeating facts. For example, repeating all the details of the beans in the bottle Conformity experiment would be descriptive, what we need to do is to be selective in our description. Therefore if you find that you are writing endless notes when describing you should stop to reflect and if you have written 500 words try reducing it to 100 – 150.  


Thinking Skills requires you to highlight the significance of details and to demonstrate understanding. Thinking should involve weighing-up relevant concepts  and deriving meaning; evaluating strengths and weaknesses of ideas. 

Critical Thinking requires us to use our minds, using mental processes such as identifying and selecting relevant ideas, categorising ideas and making judgements based on evidence (the information). 

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Setting aside mental issues or learning needs we all have the ability to think in critically analytical ways, but sometimes we can encounter blocks to learning. Life experiences and emotional baggage can get in the way, leading us to self-doubt about our ability to take part in cognitive activities. 


They say that reflection is good for the soul, if you feel that self-doubt is blocking your progression then make time to reflect and try and identify what is causing the self doubt. If you’re able to identify possible causes then follow-up by putting a plan in place and work towards building self esteem. 


Yesterday, we said that Social Norms are accepted standards of behaviour of social groups, and that staffs are usually aware of the norms governing work behaviour, and as we move from one group to another we adapt behaviour in view of the norms of the group.

Now, let us make links between social norms and the concept of ‘culture’. 


“Culture defines accepted ways of behaving for members of a particular society. Such definitions vary from society to society. To a large degree culture determines how members of society think and feel: it directs their actions and defines their outlook on life” (Haralambos & Holborn, Sociology Themes and Perspectives).

SCENARIO: Two men, one from the North and the other from the South are conversing in a hall 40 feet long, they begin at one end of the hall and finish at the other end, the man from the North steadily retreating, the man from the South relentlessly advancing (Scenario Adapted from Edward T. Hall). 


Given what you know about the definition of culture, apply your understanding to the following tasks:  

  1. Weigh-up the opposing arguments fairly (Northern and Southern man scenario)
  1. Reflect on present Social Distancing rules and give your insight on potential barriers to implementing the new rules in a chosen culture

Morel Benard 

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