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Asiyah3
05-30-2010, 04:33 PM
:sl:
A small introduction >
I recently had physics exam. My teacher al-hamdulillah allowed us to use our course book in the exam (told us the same day). In the end many of us realized that such subjects aren't really about the "information" you know. It's rather about deeply comprehending the topic and intellectual ability, problem-solving, critical thinking and analytical approach. As the teacher put it "even if you have memorized the whole book, it won't benefit you much".

On the sad side this means no matter how much I study it won't help right? And I'm not sure if doing the exercises will help in this coz' every exercise is different. I'm personally more of the type that does better in languages al-hamdulillah even though I'm more into natural science. I do believe that the study types can also do it with enough interest and enthusiasm insha'llah.


So do you think problem-solving and critical thinking is something you've born with?

How do you develop it?

ps. I'm not depressed, just a bit things to discuss.
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Lynx
05-30-2010, 07:17 PM
Even if it's a natural skill to be able to solve problems and think critically, it does not mean it can't be developed. Any skill can be developed beyond your natural gifts and any lack of natural gift can be developed with practice. Some people are bad at math but work hard and get good at it through practice. Anyway, so don't say "no matter how much I study it won't help" because you can develop any skill with practice; in fact, last time I read on the topic, intelligence is something around 50% innate and 50% is dependent on how you live your life.

The best way to develop critical thinking skills is to practice. Challenge yourself with problems and get your brain to get used to thinking critically. The most important source for this type of practice is school where you are constantly challenged to think critically (at least you should be). You should always do your homework even if all the problems are different because the homework questions get your mind to start getting used to thinking in the way you ought to be in order to succeed in your class. Practice is probably most important in a field as mathematical as physics. People who have the most experience doing problems tend to be the best at it because they've trained their minds to find solutions quickly. To give you a simple analogy, a person can lift weights everyday; the weights will feel lighter and lighter everyday because his muscles are getting used to it. Similarly, the more practice you do the better you will become. Incidentally, a person lifting weights might naturally be a skinny person but it doesn't mean lifting weights is not going to do anything :)

You can also read on the subject by looking up various books on critical thinking and problem solving. IMO the best type of person is one who is a versatile thinker who can apply problem solving skills in all sorts of fields, be it math, science or literature. So take as many different type of courses as you can and broaden your horizons :) Being stuck in science or being stuck in math is like doing the same exercise every single day :(
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Asiyah3
05-30-2010, 08:01 PM
Originally Posted by Lynx
The best way to develop critical thinking skills is to practice.
Thanks you very much Lynx and thank you for the suggestions. :) I'll start with reading books on problem-solving and critical thinking. This way my English will get better at the same time.

I guess brain practise is just something harder to undrestand 'cause you don't see it lol.
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tango92
05-30-2010, 09:24 PM
hmm i had to think about this for a while. you can train yourself to think critically about certain problems, eg in physics you might be good at visualising mechanics but not so good with visualising electricity.

but you cant increase your overall critical thinking ability too much. if you wanna do this you should focus on maths cause they say that maths is a subject that delevops you overall. the guys who write jokes for simpsons all have maths degrees/ and or physics, so even if your into humanites etc its still handy.
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Masuma
05-31-2010, 10:10 AM
Asalamu Alikum Wa Rehmatullahi Wa Barakatuh!
An interesting point raised dear sister! :wub: But I can’t cast my vote into any of the above two options as my opinion is slightly different. My vote goes to something in between the two. Critical thinking, problem solving techniques etc, we do develop but also that some are born with it.
Ummm…let me explain it further.
In my opinion, there are two levels in every subject. First is the basic level where ANYONE who has worked hard, will receive the fruit for it. This basic level, just because it is basic/ordinary, will allot everyone an equal chance of succeeding.

Then comes a higher level. In this level, again everyone can do wonders BUT now at this stage, there will be some who will succeed more than the others. Some who seem to be working equally hard as you but still will be passing every test with a BANG!
Now the reason for them to be so super-humans here is that they’ve an interest in that field and so their brains work at their optimum. Did you ever hear someone say that “I was born to do this”? It is these type of people I’m talking about. So yes! These are the people who were born with it!

Every person has a particular talent and sharpens it at the basic level, but when it comes to the higher level, those people have higher chances to succeed who were simply born with the talent which this particular field demands.

(Btw I don’t think that using a course book in an exam, specially the physics exam, would help at all! There is just nothing written in it, right?! If you don’t remember the formulas, you’re always provided with the data booklet and so the course book is no better than a trash. Well, if my teacher would have allowed us to, I feel that I couldn’t have resisted giving him a scowl, ;D or shouting out that “Keep it! We don’t need any of your generosity, Hnh!” :rolleyes: But of course that would have earned me a detention and so maybe I might have simply kept a poker face. :D)

I think that solving various exercises is absolutely compulsory if you need an A+. It will polish your critical (C) and analytical (A) skills and the more you practice, the more you’ve chances to succeed. Practice does make a woman perfect! :D Without solving exercises, it is just impossible to develop the C and A skills and at the time of exam, you will be totally at loss on how to handle the question. At basic levels, only hard working “shall set you free” :D and at higher level, intelligence along with the hardworking will bring out the results.

And I don’t understand why the teacher was saying that "even if you have memorized the whole book, it won't benefit you much"!
What is he talking about?! Nobody is a fool to cram the PHYSICS book! ^o) Every time the questions are different in exams so why would anyone at all feel the need of “memorizing” physics book?! ;D


So it's just my opinion. I can be wrong too. And Allah of course knows the best! :statisfie
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Life_Is_Short
06-01-2010, 12:25 AM
In physics, as far as i know, you're not expected to memorize and learn increasingly more material.

I believe with physics you have to be good at manipulating numbers. Physics is based on laws. Your ability to apply those laws (using maths most of the time) to many different situations is what can grant you success. The best way to develop this is by doing more problems. If solving problems is difficult for you, spend more time learning how to solve problems.

I've noticed that even with subjects like biology (at higher level) that require you to remember more material/content, ultimately when it comes to exams (and that what matters) you have to be good at problem solving and I say this because i've actually experimented. :P

The only way to be good at problem solving is to practice problem solving by doing several past exam papers.
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Life_Is_Short
06-01-2010, 12:27 AM
Double post!
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