Resources: Week 3 Grading Rubric, SAS Central: Critical Thinking, AES Presentation
The next step in your exploration of leadership is to analyze the entries in your analytical framework to identify differences, similarities, sequencing and gaps (areas none of the models address) among the three leadership models you chose for your Week 2 assignment. After performing a critical analysis, you will also critically evaluate the application of each theory to a current leadership scenario based upon your personal/professional experience.
Evaluation involves using a set of criteria and your own critical thinking to reach evaluative conclusions. In evaluating leadership models, you might use a set of theoretical criteria (such as criteria for effective communication, or characteristics of a multi-generational work force), or you might use as criteria who will use the model, why they would use the model, and what the intended outcomes might be. Or you might choose another set of criteria.
Write a 1,250- to 1750-word paper describing your critical analysis and evaluation of the application of each different leadership model to the same leadership scenario. Make sure to support your assertions with Week 1-3 readings and additional literature obtained from University Library resources.
Complete the following in your paper:
Using your framework, describe the differences, similarities, sequencing and gaps (areas none of the models address) among the theories you have chosen from Wren (analysis).
Identify and briefly describe a current leadership scenario from your daily experiences. (evaluation)
Considering that scenario, identify a set of criteria you will use in your evaluation. (evaluation)
Evaluate the extent to which each theory meets the criteria you have chosen. (evaluation)
Describe your final conclusions (summary statements) from your critical evaluation. (evaluation)
Relate your conclusions to your personal leadership practices (i.e. which of your leadership practices do/do not align with the conclusions you drew?)
Include your analytical framework as an appendix.
Use unbiased language to avoid the perpetuation or reinforcement of stereotypes.
Use a minimum of six references to support your analysis and the criteria, assumptions, and context of your evaluation. References should be peer-reviewed articles, journals, and scholarly literature located in the University Library.
Format your paper consistent with APA guidelines.
SAS: CRITICAL THINKING
What Is Critical Thinking?
In the SAS doctoral program, you will have the opportunity to develop and extend your critical thinking skills. You will be encouraged to analyze, evaluate, and synthesize as an integral aspect of your thinking. These thinking operations might be applied to analyzing the literature, developing questions, solving a problem, creating a new model, or deciding upon a course of action.
Richard Paul and Linda Elder (2009), two long-standing and respected scholars of critical thinking, crafted the following definition: Critical thinking is the act of analyzing and evaluating thinking with a view to improving it (p. 4).
Paul and Elder (2009) also suggest that critical thinking entails a commitment to overcoming our native egocentrism and sociocentrism.
Other recent views of critical thinking critique the overemphasis on the cognitive dimension of critical thinking (sometimes referred to as the Cartesian duality of “I think, therefore I am”). Researchers such as Klein (1999) remind us of the role of intuition; neuroscientists using new scanning techniques help us understand the role of emotions and the complex interactions of our mind and body.
In SAS we endeavor to introduce you to the latest models of how we can develop higher-order thinking and adult development. There are many ways of knowing that can lead to synthesis. For example, we will be developing your capacity for creating new ideas and original insights by encouraging you to use synthesis or discovery-based thinking.
Traditional views of critical thinking
Contemporary views of critical thinking
Emphasis on cognition alone – I think; therefore I amInteraction of cognition, emotion, spirit and the body especially use of visual representations, and other non sentential forms of reasoning (Thagard & Shelley, 1997).Reification of rationality, objectivityAcknowledging the role of intuition and collaboration in design/abductive thinking (Dunne & Martin, 2006); disciplined imagination or reflexivity (Weick, 1989; Weick, 1999).Emphasis on validation, universal competenciesDiscovery practices as used by theoreticians (Jaccard & Jacoby, 2009). Remaining sensitive to uncertainty, doubt, surprise (Locke, Golden-Biddle, & Feldman, 2008) to stimulate original thinking.Emphasis on deductive logic Acceptance and inclusion of inductive & abductive logic.
Critical analysis is one of the first steps in learning to read and write in a scholarly manner. Critical analysis involves the following:
Taking apart, locating and examining the components, comparing and contrasting, investigating, sequencing, differentiating, distinguishing, gathering, and assessing diverse and sometimes contradictory information.
Finding the evidence to support assertions.
Questioning assumptions and recording problems.
Illustrating claims with concrete examples and descriptions of the social context in which they occurred.
Critical evaluation is the next step in learning to read and write in a scholarly manner. Critical evaluation involves applying a specific lens or criteria to reach reasoned judgments and articulate clear claims based on credible evidence. Critical evaluation is shaped by the topic, the audience, and the lens. For example, in reading research, one can evaluate the methodology, the approach, assumptions, and other core elements of the research design.
Critically evaluation involves the following:
Evaluating all inferences.
Evaluating diverse, and sometimes contradictory, perspectives, theories, and assumptions.
Formulating well-reasoned conclusions and solutions.
Testing conclusions against relevant criteria, assumptions, and standards.
Critical synthesis uses metacognition to place the focus of prior analytical and evaluative work into a coherent whole that incorporates one’s original insights and contributions. Critical synthesis involves creating vital research questions and problems for the future.
Recognizing and/ or co-constructing original patterns.
Applying insights across boundaries from multiple disciplines (Boyer, 1992, p. 89).
Thinking open-mindedly within alternative systems of thoughts, and recognizing and assessing assumptions.
Taking the 100,000-foot view to see the whole from a new perspective to create new questions and perspectives.
Using discovery practices, such as disciplined imagination, intuition, informed voice, and embodiment, to develop innovative ideas, designs, theories, or solutions.
Engaging in reflexive inquiry to generate consciousness raising (Freire, 2000, p. 87).
Note. There may be some overlap between critical analysis, critical evaluation,and critical synthesis. Critical thinking does not necessarily happen in a linear fashion; one may develop original insights and ideas during critical analysis and critical evaluation. However, this model is designed to help students see the value in continuing to build upon their work, question their assertions, and elevate their critical thinking.
Example of Emerging Critical Thinking
The writing example below is taken from a former students’ literature review. This example demonstrates emerging critical thinking and the type of critical thinking faculty members in the School of Advanced Studies expect to see in doctoral student work.
In the example, the paraphrased information from the literature is in black text. The student’s original thinking is in italicized blue text. Below the example is commentary explaining how the student synthesized the literature.
“Academic advisors are representatives of the Student Affairs department. Academic advisors can build long-term satisfactory relationships to help alleviate stress in college students (Kim & Feldman, 2011). As mentioned by Ludwig-Hardman and Dunlap (2005) and Sparkman et al. (2012), social and personal integration among college students help to decrease attrition and increase graduation rates.” Academic advisors help to provide students with personalized support. Students feel more connected and ultimately more satisfied with their college experience through the relationships developed with their academic advisors.
“Academic advisors assist students with scheduling, transfer courses, early registration, applying for scholarships, and researching internships (Kim & Feldman, 2011). According to the research results of Kim and Feldman (2011), students felt more connected to their college when their academic advisors provided spontaneous communication, such as phone calls or e-mails, and offered timely responses to address students’ needs.” Academic advisors have the potential to provide support services students, increase retention, and eliminate feelings of isolation.
In an effort to understand the role that academic advisors play in an online student’s experience, it is essential to understand the perceived advisor-student relationship of online students, the topics that are discussed, and the preferred interactions between online students and their academic advisors.
Commentary on Example
In the first paragraph, the author opens with three statements about academic advisors. The first sentence lacks a citation. This implies that the first sentence is one of general knowledge. The next two sentences are assertions supported by citations.
The two italicized sentences, in blue, represent synthesis because the author has combined the two literature sources together and created a new idea or insight. The plausibility of the inference based on the assumptions as supported by literature is the basis for faculty evaluations of these two sentences where a new insight is presented.
Having made these two points, the author returns to the literature. The literature provides examples of how academic advisors can support students. The next italicized sentence represents an added insight generated by the author who has logically extending the cited sentences above. The author drives home his or her point in this sentence.
Finally, the author develops a proposition in the final italicized sentence based on the literature and the new insights garnered from synthesizing the literature.
Boyer, E. L. (1992). Scholarship reconsidered: Priorities of the professoriate. Issues in Accounting Education, 7(1), 87–91.
Dunne, D., & Martin, R. (2006). Design thinking and how it will change management education: An interview and discussion. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 5(4), 512–523.
Freire, P. (2000). Pedagogy of the oppressed. (M. B. Ramos, Trans.). New York, NY: Continuum International Publishing Group. (Original work published 1970)
Jaccard J., & Jacoby, J. (2009). Theory construction and model-building skills: A practical guide for social scientists. New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Kim, J., & Feldman, L. (2011). Managing academic advising services quality: Understanding and meeting needs and expectations of different student segments. Marketing Management Journal,21(1), 222–238.
Klein, G. (1999) Sources of power: How people make decisions. MIT Press: Boston, MA.
Locke, K., Golden-Biddle, K., & Feldman, M. (2008). Making doubt generative: Rethinking the role of doubt in the research process. Organization Science, 19(6), 907–919.
Ludwig-Hardman, S., & Dunlap, J. C. (2003). Learner support services for online students: Scaffolding for success. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 4(1). Retrieved from: http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/131/211.
Paul, R., & Elder, L. (2009) The Miniature guide to critical thinking: Concepts and Tools (6th ed.). Dillon Beach, CA: Foundation for Critical Thinking.
Sims, A. (2013, March). Academic advising for the 21st century: Using principles of conflict resolution to promote student success and build relationships. Academic Advising Today, 36(1). Retrieved from https://www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Academic-Advising-Today/View-Articles/Academic-Advising-for-the-21st-Century-Using-Principles-of-Conflict-Resolution-to-Promote-Student-Success-and-Build-Relationships.aspx.
Sparkman, L.A., Maulding, W.S., & Roberts, J.G. (2012). Non-cognitive predictors of student success in college. College Student Journal, 46(3), 642–652.
Thagard, P., & Shelley, C. (1997). Abductive reasoning: Logic, visual thinking, and coherence. In: M.-L. Dalla Chiara et al. (ed.). Logic and scientific methods. Dordrecht: Kluwer, 413–427. © Paul Thagard and Cameron Shelley, 1997.
Weick, K. E. (1989). Theory construction as disciplined imagination. Academy of Management Review, 14(4), 516–531.
Weick, K. E. (1999). Theory construction as disciplined reflexivity: Tradeoffs in the 90’s. Academy of Management Review, 24(4), 797–806.