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EP 39: Improve Your Critical Thinking Skills with the Corson Technique

As we move towards a world where there is increased access to technology and a variety of information there is a need to develop critical thinking skills. What better way to do this than to practice while you are in university or college? On Episode 39 we will discuss the Corson technique, a method of critical thinking that you can implement into your life and your college courses right away.

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Cath Anne: [00:00:00] Hi guys and welcome back to our channel. My name is Cath Anne: and this is episode 39 of the Homework Help Show hosted by Homework Help Global.

[00:00:10] On this show we provide you with valuable content for your academic and student life. Let’s jump in.

[00:00:24] As we move towards a world where there is increased access to technology and information there is an ever growing need to develop critical thinking skills. What a better way to do this than to practice while you are in university or college. This week we discuss the Corson Technique, a technique of critical thinking developed by Dale Corson.

[00:00:49] Corson was the eighth president of Cornell University. He was a physicist, activist and highly intelligent critical thinker.

[00:00:58] If you make an effort to apply the Corson Technique in your own life you will essentially become a better problem solver. You will learn how to think analytically and you will learn how to break problems down into smaller components that are easier to understand. Your reasoning skills will become more balanced and you will feel more confident in your ability to make decisions. Being a critical problem solver will become a skill that you can apply to your everyday life. You will be confident in your ability to break problems down into smaller components and find answers to more challenging questions. When you have the skills you will be more apt to engage in critical thinking and to participate in the process of problem solving.

[00:01:47] I truly do believe in the value of developing stronger critical thinking skills. However don’t take my word for it. As Michael Fulnan so confidently asserts the moral purpose of education is to equip students with the skills that will enable them to be productive citizens when they finish school. While computers and digital technologies play a central role in the development and utilization of the skills the more essential skills for the 21st century learning in occupations relate not just to the application of technology but more importantly to the ability to engage in independent critical thinking and a high level of problem solving often using technology.

[00:02:32] So essentially what is being said here is that the more that we have access to technology and information on a daily basis the more we are going to need critical thinking skills in order to break down problems and to be more analytical. Techniques like the Corson Method allow us to develop these critical high level problem solving skills.

[00:02:55] One problem is that many college and university students expect to understand concepts right out of the gate. If they do not understand a concept immediately they get frustrated and immediately ask the professor for help. If a concept doesn’t make sense right away they seem to feel panicky or it initiates feelings of stress. Unfortunately this is just not the way to solve problems.

[00:03:23] So let’s talk about the Corson method. The Corson technique break problems down into reasonable and analytical questions. It involves breaking a question down into multiple components which are easily understood. I first learned about this technique through the YouTube for Thomas Frank from CollegeInfoGeek. Here are some steps to implement the Corson Method into your routine.

[00:03:51] If you are facing a complex problem, break it down into smaller components. If you get stuck, ask yourself what is it that I do not understand.

[00:04:03] Break each small question down and then ask yourself where are you getting stuck.

[00:04:08] Give yourself at least 15 minutes on each component of the question in order to understand exactly where you are going wrong or what you don’t understand.

[00:04:18] Consult with other students after the 15 minutes. Maybe they have an idea of how to solve the problem that you’re not thinking of.

[00:04:25] If you are truly stuck then go to your professor after the 15 minutes be able to show your professor exactly where you are getting stuck and ask them a very specific question about the problem you are having. What you’re hoping to avoid here is going to the professor right away as soon as you get the question without taking the time to break it down and understand where you might be going wrong or where there might be a misunderstanding.

[00:04:54] If you use the Corson technique you are strengthening your critical thinking skills. It also has lots of other benefits too. For one your professor is going to be super happy that you are not running to them every five seconds with a new question. You won’t be saving the professors time and you will help them to understand the exact context of the problem with your question. The professor well understand that you actually give a care about what they are teaching and they’ll get a much better impression of you. You’re also going to be showing yourself how to learn critically and analyze information as you acquire it and in turn you’re going to retain more information if you engage in problems more effectively. You are going to gain more information over time and you’ll retain that information for a longer period of time because you’ve taken some time to wrestle with it yourself by going head to head with a problem you might very well solve yourself and you might not even need some assistance from your professor. Think about it you might even be able to help other students as they progress along their learning journey.

[00:06:01] When you engage fully in a question you are actually exercising muscles in your brain that is going to help you to learn and to practice those critical thinking skills over time. And these are going to be strengthened as you progress through your university degree and when you move into the workplace. In essence using the Corson technique will make you a better learner you’ll become more popular your professors and you’ll develop skills that you can carry with you as you move into the professional field. It’s really going to help when you are working in an environment that asks you to engage in analytical thinking and you already have these skills. As I mentioned before we are moving into a world where technology and information is all around us and one of the most invaluable skills that you can have is to be able to be analytical and develop critical thinking skills. So the Corson Method is an amazing way to practice this and exercise those critical thinking muscles in your brain.

[00:07:05] OK so that’s it for me this week guys! I have confidence that the Corson Method will be of benefit in your lives and if it is please give us a shout in the comments below and let us know if you have implemented it into your life. If you like this video and you want to see more of our content make sure to give it a thumbs up and subscribe to our channel. As always if you have any questions hit us up in the comments below or on any of our social media platforms in the in the description box below.