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MSJC > Honors Enrichment Program > On Critical Thinking

On Critical Thinking

​If you’d like to know some of the qualities the program seeks to cultivate, look at the list below.  Which attitudes and skills do you have now?  Which would you like to develop in yourself?  Check them off—then see how the Honors Enrichment Program can help you grow.

APTITUDES:  Which mental habits and attitudes do I need?

Curious and reflective enough to ask questions? Do I value the life of the mind?
  • Honest and committed to truth-seeking, clarity and fair-mindedness?
  • Focused enough to follow an argument through attentive reading or listening?
  • Humble enough to acknowledge what I don’t know or need to improve?
  • Confident that my reason can judge find the truth?
  • Patient and persevering enough to research a topic in depth?
  • Open to new ideas, including those that challenge my own?
  • Willing to improve, to develop in myself the skills I need?
  • Decisive enough to know when a conclusion is clear enough for me to act on it.

QUALITIES:  What skills or attributes do I need?

  • Intelligence to analyze and assess evidence in relation to a thesis?
  • Autonomy to think for myself, to judge the credibility of a source?
  • Imagination and empathy to understand the positions of others?
  • Balance to hold in mind complex and contrary ideas without oversimplifying them?
  • Insight to discern and probe assumptions—my own as well as others?
  • Self-awareness, the knowledge of my personal strengths and limitations?
  • Courage to challenge my own beliefs and values as well as those of others?
  • Communication skills to articulate clearly my understanding?
  • Discipline to manage my time and organize written and group work so as to contribute in a positive manner to my class’s learning environment?
  • Sociability to interact with others in a group-oriented way that helps everyone learn— myself included—not just make me look good or come out on top?