5.4 Assignment. Capstone Reflection Journal: Applying Critical Thinking
As you get further into the curriculum for the MA in Psychology, it becomes more important for you to carefully think through your chosen area of specialization. Though you are not locked in to a firm commitment to that specialization at present, you should by now have a pretty firm decision in place for which area of specialization you are most interested in pursuing. This journal entry is designed to help you solidify your choice and take you one step further by allowing you to explore a topic of interest within that area of specialization.
Here are the two specializations: Life Coaching and Positive Psychology or Industrial/Organizational Psychology. In Workshop One, you were asked to make a list of three possible topics you might like to learn more about under that chosen specialization. In Workshop Two, you began sharpening your critical thinking skills.
In this journal entry, you will combine these two previous activities. You will narrow those three possible topic options down to a single topic that most interests you. You will then expand upon that topic by implementing critical thinking skills. The critical thinking questions are designed to help you become clear on what the topic is about and why it is important to you. This exercise will then form the foundation for the more detailed outline of the topic you will develop for the Assignment in Workshop Six.
Upon successful completion of this assignment, you will be able to:
· Apply critical thinking criteria to a chosen paper topic.
As a reminder, here is the definition of critical thinking that was introduced in Workshop Two: Critical thinking is the objective analysis of an issue, situation, or facts to form a judgment. In other words, it’s not an analysis based upon your opinion, feelings, or biases but, rather, on the actual information you have available.
So, as you approach your topic, try to be as objective as possible in answering the critical thinking questions. Though the suggested word count in this journal entry is between 400 and 500 words, don’t be afraid to elaborate more on any of the questions. The more detail you can provide now, the easier it will be to create your outline in Workshop Six.
You will add this as a new journal entry to the Capstone Reflection Journal you began in PSY-520.
Critical Thinking Steps
· What is my question?
· What information do I need to gather?
· How will I apply the information?
· What implications do I need to consider—both short- and long-term?
· What other points of view should I consider?
1. Review the rubric to make sure you understand the criteria for earning your grade.
2. Open your ongoing Capstone Reflection Journal that you saved in a Word document.
3. Title this new journal entry PSY-530 5.4 Applying Critical Thinking, <Day, Month Year>. As you write your journal during this session, reflect on the following questions:
a. Which of the two specializations are you more interested in? Explain the motivation for your choice.
b. What one topic under that specialization most interests you at this point in the curriculum? Explain in some detail your specific interest in this topic.
c. Write at least one sentence for each of the critical thinking questions presented in the Background Information section (more if you like) as a starting point. You will have an opportunity to discuss your topic and approach with your instructor in your curiosity conversation or check-in in this workshop.
4. Your entry should be between 400 and 500 words in length.