Conceptualizing: is the process of forming or conceiving an idea
Analyzing: It is the process of learning about something by observing its individual parts to determine how they work together.
Synthesis: it is the putting together a number of different ideas, thoughts, to come up with a new thing.
Critical Thinking is a deliberate, purposeful and intellectually involving habit of diligently and carefully conceiving, observing, sorting, assessing and applying information collected overtime from primary and secondary sources, to form a basis for decision making.
The perfect example that comes to my mind as it relates to critical thinking is when I was about to join university. With the embarrassment of riches that we have in this country in terms of the sheer number of universities, it is not always a walk in the park for many young people when it comes to choosing a school where to undertake a bachelors, I don’t think it is the same for those undertaking post-graduate studies. Unlike most post-graduate students, most people (myself include) enroll for undergraduate degree when they are pretty young. In most cases, still a teenager, hungry and generally impatient with life.
I was in that state once, just eighteen, still not sure of what I what to do with my life, my father sat me down and told me to choose a university of my choice. Most people would enjoy that but it was not so for me. I shuddered. It was the greatest decision anyone has ever trusted me enough to make. I was not sure of what career to take at university to begin with; I was pretty good with languages and average in biological sciences and rather poor at mathematics. You might say that, it should have been no brainer for me because I already understood my strength and weaknesses but there was more to it.
My first choice university should have been one in my city; my best friend was going there for an undergraduate in law. It was tempting, closeness to ones best mate would appeal to most people, it did to me but something that kept nudging me, the adventurous spirit in me was pushing me to try out new areas, uncharted territories. The thing is, I had spent almost all my life here: born, bred and schooled here. University offered a change, to widen my horizon but I also loved my friend, I have since we were six and being away from each other for the first in my life was just unthinkable; w e had planned since we were kids to go the same university. The passing of her father just before she joined university made it worse. Leaving her when she needed me most to be around would not just go down well with her and many people who knew about our close relationship. It couldn’t be more difficult. To decide to join her university would mean I would do a course I didn’t like and going away would be interpreted as betrayal. I was damned whatever way I decided.
After much thought and reflection I decide to do what I thought was the best thing for me: go to another city for my undergraduate studies five years down the line. To my surprise, our friendship is still rock solid. I am proud I made that call.
Webster’s New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio.Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.)