As a doctoral student, it is now time to engage in authentic, autonomous, and independent learning. It is time for you to establish yourself as an independent scholar, researcher, practitioner, and leader by assessing your current competency level and determining where you need and want to be. Independence: Self-Assessment and Critical Thinking Independence, however, does not mean isolating yourself from your peers or faculty member. Independent learning in this context means assessing yourself as a scholar and leader and developing future academic and career goals. Think of this assessment process as the beginning of a leadership-development plan in which you conduct a personal gap analysis. Assess yourself rigorously and consistently and consider the feedback you receive from peers and faculty. You will begin to recognize strengths and weaknesses. Strive to capitalize on your strengths and modify your weaknesses. Create an action plan for converting weaknesses into strengths, integrating double- and triple-loop learning practices to maintain continuous monitoring, and modifying your plan as you develop and grow. Independence in this context also means using critical thinking to define your reality, differentiate truth from distortion, and exercise sound, consistent judgment. You will be reading and integrating volumes of information. You must be able to apply critical thinking to differentiate between valid and invalid sources of data. Lipman (1995) defined critical thinking as "skillful, responsible thinking that facilitates good judgment because it (a) relies upon criteria, (b) is self-correcting, and (c) is sensitive to context" (p. 146). Critical thinking is an important cognitive skill applicable in almost any situation. However, many authors present critical thinking as a topic reserved only for classrooms or academic environments. Adults use critical thinking in a variety of personal and professional situations. For example, a manager may use critical thinking to assess an employee’s work performance, or a friend might use critical thinking concepts to give sound advice. In this way, critical thinking is a trait of the roles of scholar, practitioner, and leader—an analytical mode funded by practical and academic knowledge and used to assess situations in both environments. Furthermore, critical thinking enhances professional and personal lives, providing a means for making decisions and enacting judgment that is both internally consistent and externally sound. Operationalizing Critical Thinking It is not enough to understand the definition of critical thinking. You must integrate critical thinking behaviors into your daily repertoire. Integrating critical thinking into your daily cognitive process will enhance scholarship and help you further define your personal trajectory. Brookfield (1987) identified the following characteristics of critical thinking: o Expressing intellectual curiosity o Asking clarifying questions o Identifying hidden or unstated meanings and assumptions o Assessing the validity of an idea o Evaluating the credibility, accuracy, and reliability of data/sources o Questioning and re-evaluating one’s own ideas or framework o Determining when one’s own point of view is weak and others are strong o Recognizing bias, propaganda, and stereotypes By operationalizing or converting critical thinking into practice, you will be a more effective student, follower, and decision-maker. You will also be more effective in conducting the type of intensive self-assessment needed to lead people and organizations effectively. Using critical thinking in the self-assessment process involves conducting a candid critique of one’s own beliefs, values, and assumptions to uncover fallacious or unfounded reasoning in these areas. Using critical thinking in the self-assessment process also involves critically and realistically analyzing strengths and weaknesses. This critical analysis can result in a leadership development plan, one that will guide both scholarly interest and practical application. Critical Reading Critical reading is an essential skill for those with a DNP and is the application of critical thinking in reading. Critical reading is an analytic activity that facilitates understanding of written information, the author’s interpretation, and the meaning of the text as a whole. References: Brookfield, S. D. (1987). Developing critical thinkers: Challenging adults to explore alternative ways of thinking and acting. Jossey-Bass. Lipman, M. (1995). Critical thinking: What can it be? In A. L. Ornstein, & L. S. Behar (Eds.), Contemporary issues in curriculum. Allyn & Bacon. Read the “Distinguishing the Preparation and Roles of Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Nursing Practice Graduates: National Implications for Academic Curricula and Health Care Systems” article. Complete the Qualifying Scholarly Sources Through Critical Appraisal Worksheet.(see attachment) Please use APA 7th edition format. Please read through order details and complete critique as requested.