How Does Collaboration Foster Critical Thinking?


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Connor Sephton answered
Collaboration means that a people have cooperated on a task and so have pooled together their thoughts and ideas. If it is done properly, rather than just one person doing all of the talking while the others just listen and do as they are told (which is actually not collaboration but is sometimes the reality of the situation) then what tends to happen is a greater exploration of ideas.

This is because there is more than one mind doing the thinking and so when somebody suggests something, there is a very real likelihood that this will trigger something that relates to it in somebody else's mind and so the exploration continues. This collaboration naturally leads to critical thinking.

Generally, critical thinking is thinking that will question assumptions and will decide whether something that has been claimed is true or not. Obviously there are not many things that can be so clear cut and so critical thinking will examine the level of validity in an idea.

Critical thinking can also be described as reflective thinking about what should be done, or actually what to think about something, and so therefore, becomes thinking about thinking, and collaboration can make this task a lot easier than when it is undertaken alone.

Critical thinking has always been a major part in education, particularly graduate and post graduate education, and continues into the majority of professions where previous ideologies have to be examined if progress is to be made. The origins of critical thinking in the Western world can be traced as far back as Socrates in Ancient Greece, and in the East, to the Buddhist Abhidharma.

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