Critical thinking is a scope of various complex skills related to a higher level of thinking. It is a self-directed thinking that produces new and innovative ideas and solves problems. It assumes reflecting critically on learning experiences and processes, and making effective decisions by avoiding common pitfalls, for example seeing only one side of an issue, discounting new evidence that disconfirms your ideas, reasoning from passion rather than logic, and failing to support statements with evidence.
In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subject matter divisions: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth, and fairness.
Problem Solving is a mental process involving the ability to analyze and find the solution that best resolves the problem. It describes the process where there is a goal that is blocked for any reason – lack of resources, lack of information and so on – that presents a problem. Whatever is done in order to achieve the set goal is problem solving.
There are routine problems and non-routine problems. Routine problems can be solved using methods familiar to students by replicating previously learned methods in a step-by-step fashion. Non-routine problems are problems for ‘which there is not a predictable, well-rehearsed approach or pathway explicitly suggested by the task, task instructions or a worked-out example’. Everyone needs problem solving skill in everyday life. It assumes a group of skills which, in addition to cognitive, includes social and other skills, helping us to define causes to the problem and to find efficient solutions. We use critical and creative thinking in order to solve problems.