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Learning Outcome Reflection: Critical Thinking Skills Troy J. Cook The Robert B. Miller College January 30, 2014

LEARNING OUTCOME REFLECTION: Learning Outcome Reflection: Critical Thinking Skills At the end of my journey as a college student at The Robert B. Miller College, I was

asked to reflect upon various outcomes described in the Mission Statement for the school of Arts & Sciences. For the purpose of this paper I will be discussing exactly that, critical thinking, and reflecting upon aspects such as cognition, organization, analytical, and evaluative skills. Through life experiences and the curriculum assigned, lessons have been learned. My course of studies while at Miller College further developed my critical thinking skills. The first aspect of critical thinking I would like to reflect upon is cognitive skills. Cognition refers to the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses. The most noticeable aspect of cognition I have seen develop is logic and reasoning, often when it comes to the co-parenting of my children. Situations have come up where subconsciously at the time I handled them with a higher level of logic and reasoning than ever before. For instance, while I was not able to attend appointments with my sons neurologist, I insisted upon having a conference call with the doctor. Through the use of critical thinking I was able to discuss with the doctor a point his mother had not thought of. At what weight will the current dose of medicine begin to not work for my son any longer? I felt this was a good thing to consider moving forward. The doctor agreed. Prior to my time at Miller College I might not have thought of a conference call or what questions to ask in order to stay proactive with my sons epilepsy. This was just one of many times I saw growth within my cognitive skills. The next aspect of critical thinking further developed during my journey at Miller College is organizational skills. Along my journey I was able to meet a very good English instructor, who helped further develop my organization skills. The instruction given from John

LEARNING OUTCOME REFLECTION: Rasmussen has helped me to organize written assignments prior to the start of them. For instance, through the use of a technique called pre-writing, I am able to deliver solid written assignments: For example, a poetry comparison and contrast paper that I wrote for ENGL 310 benefited from pre-writing and shows strong organizational skills. Without the use critical thinking skills gained it would be more than different. More like impossible. Pre-writing helps me to restrict the topic in order to ensure unity throughout a paper. Unity in writing ensures that the paper stays on track and sticks to the subject. Prior to obtaining this knowledge at Miller

College I would not have applied pre-writing skills. Because of the organizational skills acquired at Miller College, I now feel confident of my writing abilities. Another aspect of critical thinking further developed while along my journey at Miller College is analytical skills. This refers to the ability to look at and figure out problems or situations using a clear, concise, educated mind. These skills were further developed during a statistics class instructed by Tim Haidl at Miller College. For example, I did a study on the number of students who text during class in the fall 2013. Prior to the instruction provided during this course, I would not have known how to collect such data nor how to analyze it once collected. Through the course of this class offered by Miller College, I was able to further develop my analytical skills. The final aspect of critical thinking I would like to reflect upon is evaluative skills. That is to judge the condition of something in a careful and thoughtful way. While many examples can be given to show further development with this aspect that are course related, I am again taken back to the co-parenting of my children. Through the use of evaluative skills I am able to make better decisions as a parent. For instance, during last summer a discussion arose about the swimming suit my daughter was to be dressed in. Due to the lack of evaluation by her mother

LEARNING OUTCOME REFLECTION: about the situation, she was able to dress provocatively while in her care. During a discussion with her about this, her defense was that she would teach her later how to dress properly but for now it wasnt important. After informing her of the fact that you never know who is out there and what their intentions may be, we were able to come to an agreement about the fact that she needs to be covered while out during the summer. Because of careful evaluation on my part she was also able to see that telling her to dress properly after years of dressing her provocatively would not be effective. Prior to my journey at Miller College I too would have probably not evaluated the situation with such care and thought. This was just one of many times I have utilized evaluative skills that have been further developed during my time spent at Miller College.

My course of studies while at Miller College further developed my critical thinking skills. Reflecting back throughout various situations, both personally and academically, I have grown as an individual due to the education delivered while at Miller College. While not all growth was recognized at the time, the growth is there. Critical thinking skills are an important aspect of evolving as a person. While life as a whole is a journey we must all travel, these skills can only help with the road that lies ahead. Conflict will arise but with the use of critical thinking skills, resolution can prevail!