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Critical Thinking Launch Assignment

Dean Puto has assigned the following for his Critical Thinking session on Thursday, August 29th at 8:30 a.m.:

Background:
Leaders are supposed to be critical thinkers who carefully analyze their situation, create and evaluate actionable alternatives, choose and implement the “best” course of action, and learn from the results.  You will spend the next 21 months acquiring “critical thinking skills,” but many experts debate even the definition of critical thinking, let alone the actual process of how to do it. The purpose of this session is to introduce you to the concept, to help you “think” about what “critical thinking” might look and feel like, and to let you try some critical thinking in a particular context. Rest assured, in our 45 minutes together on Thursday morning, you will not magically become expert critical thinkers, but you should begin to have an appreciation for the concept and be receptive to the many opportunities you will have over the next 21 months to more fully develop your critical thinking skills.

Assignment:
1. Read the three‐page article headed “Why Critical Thinking.” Don’t memorize it. Just read it and see if it makes any sense to you. If elements of it raise questions in your mind, mark those
points, and we will see if we can expand on them in this session.

2. Read the short case entitled: “Techtronics Limited.” Please note that the timing of the case is set in 1995, when many of you were probably in grade school. Most of you have one or more HDTV sets in your home or apartment. At some level, you are probably an expert on the topic of modern video imaging. So, don’t try to solve their problem and “answer” the case. History has already done that. Rather, imagine that you were a business professional at the time of the case, and all you know about the technology is what is in the case. What are the kinds of questions would you be asking and where would you go to get the information you needed to answer them so that you could then make a well‐reasoned recommendation to Mr. Leeds, the company president?

Turn in:
NOTHING. That’s right, just read and think, and then bring your brain and those thoughts to the session on Thursday morning.
Note: Since you will be working in groups on your Launch Project, it is fine for you to discuss the article, the case, and your thoughts among your teammates and other classmates as time and circumstances permit. You won’t be “graded,” but I will most likely call on individual students to share their thoughts and ideas. So, be sure that you have some!

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