What if We Actually Taught Critical Thinking Explicitly?

For all of our talk about critical thinking, how many of the following do you think our average graduate would be able to describe​ or recognize​? How many come up in any of YOUR classes? I could imagine a general education program and assessment based only on these. Probably more productive of that elusive “responsible citizen” than all of the ideological tripe we try to wedge into GE. ​Can I fantasize about a curriculum built around these and some affirmative evidentiary and analytical skills?  One where we start with a framework of such and design our courses to resonate with it (wouldn’t have to change a lot – just reference these as touchstones and cultivate styles of thinking that recognize bad arguments and can generate good ones.

It might help to develop the critical thinking skills of the faculty and administration, too, and make for big improvements in how those two polities perform.

From “A List Of Fallacious Arguments” by Don Lindsay (h/t Victoria Stodden)

Author: Dan Ryan

I'm currently an Academic Program Director at MinervaProject.com. I've been a professor at University of Toronto, University of Southern California, and Mills College teaching things like human centered design, computational thinking, modeling for policy sciences, and social theory. I'm driven by the desire to figure out how to teach twice as many twice as well twice as easily.

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