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Critical Thinking Journeys

            Critical thinking evolves as we progress in our personal, business, and academic lives. Intermediate level critical thinkers (according to Ridel, Ph.D. (2015).) do not put much effort into the process. I was an intermediate level thinker in the sixth grade. I would sometimes put effort into homework and critical thinking if it was easy, convenient, and it did not conflict with my swim meet times. I believed what I read in books without question. I did not verify any sources. I would put a minimal amount of effort into forming opinions. I would place minimal effort into navigating barriers.
             A number of my middle school mates operated on the beginning level of critical thinking (according to Ridel, Ph.D. (2015)); low priority, low effort, no importance. Most of those students spent their time out in the woods getting high. These students did not want to examine their current level of thinking. These kids justified their low levels of critical thinking by reasoning that their same old ways have worked for years, why should things change? If it is not broken why fix it? Most of these kids followed their family and friends unquestioningly; like lemmings running over the cliff edge. .
             Level One Heading.
             I would like to believe that I fall into the advanced level of critical thinking (according to Ridel, Ph.D. (2015).7 and 8). In actuality, I hover somewhere between levels 5 and 8. My levels of functioning vary according to personal factors; sleep, nutrition, exercise, stress management, substance management, family and religious support. I am working on consistently living in the level 8 range. Advanced critical thinkers use critical thinking daily. These thinkers are skilled at detecting bias in their own thoughts and those of others. I enjoy researching and validating opinions, finding unsubstantiated opinions. I enjoy debating, and I question all opinions. I try to surround myself with varied opinions to minimize personal biases.

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