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Critical Thinking for Analysts & Security Professionals

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In recent years, the ability to think critically has come into its own as a widely recognized field of expertise and a key professional and personal requirement to craft well-reasoned, mission-directed analysis in business, intelligence, academics and politics. Critical Thinking has been added to major course requirements in various college and university M.B.A. programs. This course is specifically designed to facilitate and enhance individual critical thinking skills at a fundamental level through an understanding of its history, its developmental stages, perceptions, biases and mindsets, intellectual standards cross cultural awareness, critical questioning, critical reading and critical writing. This course also addresses evaluating the media, and other sources of information.

Course Objectives

After successful completion, attendees will be able to demonstrate a general working knowledge and application of the fundamental critical thinking skills combined supported by a foundation in cross-cultural awareness.

Major Topics

Defining Critical Thinking:  This module explores the various elements involved in critical thought. These elements provide a process for understanding and recognizing Critical Thinking definitions.

Problems in Critical Thinking:  This module focuses on the problems associated with Critical Thinking. It addresses functions of the mind; Egocentricism versus Sociocentricism; pathological and irrational tendencies and how to successfully challenge them to improve our thinking processes. Our examination of critical thinking problem sets concludes with how culture impacts critical thinking and how the distinction between individualist and collectivist cultures is perhaps the most commonly used category to describe cultural differences.

Elements of Thought:  In our Elements of Thought module, we investigate differing points of view, as well as our purpose in addressing questions, information we receive, concepts, assumptions and the differences between interpretation and inference versus implications versus consequences.

Intellectual Development, Standards, and Traits: This module focuses on how the criteria for our intellectual processes are developed, the standards that those processes are measured against and how these two elements interconnect to result in intellectual traits.

Cognitive and Perception Bias: This module focuses on our understanding of perception and cognitive biases and how each may negatively impact the critical thinking process by affecting our perception of reality.

Media Bias: This module looks at the factors (such as sales, “first-to-print” philosophy, accuracy and influence), types of media bias and how much confidence we should be placing in analytic judgments affecting media reliability. We discuss media influences and the application of knowledge to a given source.

Critical Questioning: We will show how questions – the driving force behind critical thinking– are the key to productive thought, deep learning and effective living. We will also explore the value of the Socratic Questioning method.

Evaluating Sources: Attendees learn to conduct quality of information checks using evidentiary tests, credibility tests and veracity tests to evaluate sources. Attendees also discuss indicators of deception and deception detection.

Critical Writing: Attendees explore critical questions that provide an understanding of the logic of our position in a written work that is both clear and well thought out.

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COURSE INFORMATION


Contacts

EXCITE® Course Management:
703-339-6201 x313, Michelle McNealkidd

Business Development:
703-339-6201 x334, Eric Reeves