One of the critical barriers to critical thinking is egocentric thinking. This is a common tendency, and it is a puzzle to overcome. This barrier makes an individual think about him and leads to sympathizing with others to comprehend their issues. This barrier can be overcome by perspective-taking. An approach of imagining someone who is facing the problem in question and then ask oneself what they would do. Opportunities for debate and discussions and the chance to ask meaningful questions are vital to understand and recognize the viewpoints of others (Anazifa, & Djukri, 2017).
Time constraints are barriers to integrating learning opportunities that enhance critical thinking skills. A student needs to create a weekly schedule or plan to avoid rushing at the last minute in a school setup. People need to schedule pressures in a way that they have mental rest. One needs to create a schedule that highlights more important and less urgent tasks. This way, one can prioritize and thus avoid procrastination that emanates from time pressures. Individual exhaustion impedes critical thinking. Having fatigue destroys decision-making abilities (Crockett, 2019). More importantly, sleep and memory go hand in hand, so it is vital to have enough rest and avoid overworking the brain.
One of the inabilities to have critical thinking skills is social conditioning. Humans often refuse to accept and approve of others due to social conditioning from birth. People believe that certain prejudices are the absolute truth. It is vital to note that people may be reluctant to challenge the beliefs that they have accumulated over the years. One of the strategies to curtailing prejudice is gathering information, questioning what may appear to be obvious, and thinking through possible outcomes (Crockett, 2019). By questioning an individual’s belief in the lenses of the belief of others, people can make decisions grounded on facts, not propaganda.
Seeing beyond the superficial appearances is important in getting a bigger picture of how people live and how the world functions. The world is full of illusions that are deliberately created. The consequences may be subtle yet profound. For example, people want to know what they have purchased a durable or junk product (Franco, & DeLuca, 2019). Learners are constantly presented with information from the internet, parents, teachers, newspapers, and many others; they need to analyze the credibility of their outputs. Being open-minded and looking around the environment can help avoid the drone mentality that people develop due to lack of exposure.
Group thinking is another impediment to critical thinking skills. Given that people feel pressure to refrain from going against the group’s view, it is important to seek opinions from people outside the group on a staggered basis. Also, because of the fear of judgment from the group members, people tend to avoid criticizing by conforming to the status quo. Rather than impeding creativity, it is important to debate and constructive criticisms to enhance decision-making skills. Independent evaluations play a vital role in enhancing decision-making skills. One is encouraged to think outside the group settings and evaluate the matter to develop unique ideas (Widana et al., 2018). Giving space to group members to solve the problem individually is vital in enhancing critical thinking skills.
Anazifa, R. D., & Djukri, D. (2017). Project-Based Learning and Problem-Based Learning: Are They Effective to Improve Student’s Thinking Skills?. Jurnal Pendidikan IPA Indonesia, 6(2), 346-355.
Franco, P. F., & DeLuca, D. A. (2019). Learning through action: Creating and implementing a strategy game to foster innovative thinking in higher education. Simulation & Gaming, 50(1), 23-43.
Lee Crockett (2019). 7 Critical Thinking Barriers and How to Overcome Them. Futurefocusedlearning.net. https://blog.futurefocusedlearning.net/critical-thinking-barriers
Widana, I. W., Parwata, I., Parmithi, N. N., Jayantika, I. G. A. T., Sukendra, I. K., & Sumandya, I. W. (2018). Higher order thinking skills assessment towards critical thinking on mathematics lesson. International journal of social sciences and humanities, 2(1), 24-32.