Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What Does it Mean to be a Critical Thinker?

This morning I stumbled upon a New York Times Opinion article which lamented the trend among American students to only focus on the "critical" part of critical thinking skills.  While I completely agree that the whole focus of a students education should not be a negative one, I also think it is a huge mistake to equate negative criticism with academic critique.  A true critique should be a neutral evaluation of what is going on in a text.  While this can include pointing to flaws, it really should be more about uncovering on a deeper level how and why a topic is presented in the way that it is.  I was never taught to think of critical thinking as an inherently negative process, but if this is the view of the majority of American, may be we do need a paradigm shift in how we present thinking skills to the children and adults of our nation.

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