The Importance of Critical Thinking in Africa / Student Orientation / Student Quotes


I want to begin this article on the importance of critical thinking in Africa with a syllogism. It goes like this, “All human beings can think critically. All Africans are human beings. Therefore, all Africans can think critically.” But can they? The answer to this question must surely be, “Yes they can”. But do they? And must they? These are the questions we must answer in this article. But before we do that, let us define what we mean by critical thinking.

Critical thinking has received a lot of attention from scholars and the literature is vast. In the process, it has generated many definitions. One of the best I have come across defines it as “… the intellectual disciplined process of actively and skilfully conceptualising, applying, analysing, synthesising and or evaluating information gathered from or generated by observation, experience, reflection and reasoning.” Critical thinking is therefore concerned with information processing and can be viewed as a complex, purposive, judgemental (quality) higher order reasoning, which is usually devoted to critiquing information, problem solving and decision making. The goal is always to reach sound conclusions based on credible premises . . .

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