To flourish, curiosity must evolve into disciplined inquiry and reflection. Left to itself it will soar like a kite without a tail, that is, right into the ground! Intellectual curiosity is an important trait of mind, but it requires a family of other traits to fulfill it. It requires intellectual humility, intellectual courage, intellectual integrity, intellectual perseverance, and faith in reason. After all, intellectual curiosity is not a thing in itself - valuable in itself and for itself. It is valuable because it can lead to knowledge, understanding, and insight; because it can help broaden, deepen, sharpen our minds, making us better, more humane, more richly endowed persons.
To reach these ends, the mind must be more than curious, it must be willing to work, willing to suffer through confusion and frustration, willing to face limitations and overcome obstacles, open to the views of others, and willing to entertain ideas that many people find threatening. That is, there is no point in our trying to model and encourage curiosity, if we are not willing to foster an environment in which the minds of our students can learn the value and pain of hard intellectual work. We do our students a disservice if we imply that all we need is unbridled curiosity, that with it alone knowledge comes to us with blissful ease in an atmosphere of fun, fun, fun.
We can create the environment necessary to the discipline, power, joy, and work of critical thinking only by modeling it before and with our students. They must see our minds at work. Our minds must stimulate theirs with questions and yet further question; questions that probe information and experience; questions that call for reasons and evidence; questions that lead students to examine interpretations and conclusions, pursuing their basis in fact and experience; questions that help students to discover their assumptions, questions that stimulate students to follow out the implications of their thought, to test their ideas, to take their ideas apart, to challenge their ideas, to take their ideas seriously. It is in the totality of this intellectually rigorous atmosphere that natural curiosity thrives.
These are profound challenges to the profession. They call upon us to do what no previous generation of teachers was ever called upon to do. Those of us willing to pay the price will yet have to teach side by side with teachers unwilling to pay the price. This will make our job even more difficult, but not less exciting, not less important, not less rewarding. Critical thinking is the heart of well-conceived educational reform and restructuring, because it is at the heart of the changes of the 21st Century. Let us hope that enough of us will have the fortitude and vision to grasp this reality and transform our lives and our schools accordingly.
☛ Writing down ideas about possible causes
☛ Looking for related causes in order to group together symptoms of bigger problems
☛ Studying these groups of causes
☛ The real cause (to the problem in question) becomes readily apparent
☛ Devising a route to getting a resolution
Obviously, there are not right or wrong answers to the questions above. However, when asked about similar behaviors in an interview, you can emphasize the qualities that enter into your decision-making.
☛ Critical thinkers do not base decisions on emotion or bias
☛ They take the time to digest each piece of information
☛ They give differing viewpoints equal weight and consideration
☛ They compare the decision to related ones in the past
☛ They reject phrases like "that's the way it's always been" or "I heard somewhere that.
You have to realize that in reality different forms of decisions are ok for different cases. In an interview, it is your time to demonstrate that you have a balanced thinking process and, if required, you are able to make quality decisions assertively but never too impulsively.
It is OK to tell that you to ask for advice and information when you are unable to get it by yourself as you are always looking for the best decision.
You also have to talk about your ability to take hard decisions (sometimes initiatives or creative ones) independently if required. You seek for being practical when assessing multiple, complex or contradictory data in order to reach the right decision.
Show that you understand Cause and Effect and during the decision-making process you are able to evaluate the relationship between short-term consequences and long-term gains.
8. Described a situation in which you had to make a decision when you didn't have all facts available. What process do you follow for making decisions for these different circumstances and were you satisfied with the results?
☛ Using available info - Based his process on the information to hand.
☛ Analyzing - Knows how to break complex issues into components.
☛ Critical Thinking - Considers the outcomes of varying course of actions.
☛ Investigating - Can take conclusions from different sources of data.
☛ Acting - Can make decisions without complete info. Doesn't hesitate to act and able to make sound decision patiently, but in a timely manner.
☛ Responsibility - Does not put off making a decision to avoid conflict, 'getting it wrong'. Not afraid to take risks to come to a solution. Doesn't delay actions because of outcomes or reactions.
☛ Studding - Demonstrate a lesson learned ability in order to progress.
Candidate should show that they have the presence of mind and sensibility to judge any situation and make a decision independently, if required. You should hear that in critical situation candidate will seek advice and guidance to reach correct decision.
You want to hear that the applicant does not like to delay decision-making, they can make quick decisions, and they can implement decisions in a timely manner.