'Critical thinking' is broadly defined as the ability to think through a claim and decide whether to accept it, question it or reject it. This is a crucial skill, not just for students pursuing the IB Diploma, but for everyone who has to make a crucial decision at any stage in life. It is through TOK that students will hone their critical thinking skills, which will enable them to question claims by:
- Applying theory to understand the practical situation
- Paying attention to the context
- Using theoretical techniques and methods to assess the situation
- Observing data, gathering evidence
- Using appropriate criteria to make an adequate judgement
There are many diverse ways of knowing, and therefore critical thinking relies on more than just logic for making a valid judgement. One must balance such things as accuracy and precision, breadth and depth, while keeping a careful eye for biases. Opinions shape our world view, so it is a challenge to remain objective outside of one's own biases and limitations. Critical thinking and healthy discussion of opinions is therefore critical for success in TOK as well as in all our lives.