Have you ever tried to make a sandwich without the bread? Maybe you have, but your end result was probably more of a mess than a sandwich. It was during the writing process of the book Now You’re Thinking!, that the authors realized the RED model sandwich needed some bread. Prior to the Now You’re Thinking! project, the RED Model of Critical Thinking had been a three-step process: Recognize assumptions, Evaluate arguments, and Draw conclusions. In order to prevent a critical thinking mess, the authors provided the bread for their RED model sandwich. On top, they placed Stop and Think, and, on the bottom, Plan of Action was added.
Now, what do these end slices bring to the critical thinking table? Let’s take a look.
Step 1. Stop and Think
When faced with a decision to make or a problem to solve, we too often times rush the thinking process. That is the purpose behind the Stop and Think step of critical thinking. It is important that we take the time to accurately assess situations and be sure we have a full understanding of what is going on. We also need to be clear of the goal we are trying to accomplish and set some direction for ourselves. In short, the Stop and Think step reminds us to always think before we think.
Step 5. Plan of Action
To make the time we spend in careful thought worth the effort, the Plan of Action step of critical thinking is chief. Constructing a plan and determining the resources needed to enact this plan form the base for the implementation of our decisions. This is a good point at which to also consider the potential consequences of the plans we intend to put into effect. The Plan of Action step ultimately allows for our decisions to be brought to life.
So next time you sit down to a meal at the critical thinking table, don’t forget to add bread to your RED model sandwich. No one wants to clean up your critical thinking mess!
About the Author: Melanie Welsh is a Marketing Intern at Pearson TalentLens. She has an Associate of Arts Degree in Business Administration and is currently working on a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and Marketing at Delaware Valley College. Connect with her on LinkedIn to learn more about her experience and goals.