Anne Cameron, a very gifted white Canadian author, writes several first person accounts of the lives of Native Canadian women. At the International Feminist Book Fair in Montreal, a group of Native Canadian writers ask Cameron to, in their words, "move over" on the grounds that her writings are disempowering for Native authors. After the elections in Panama are overturned by Manuel Noriega, U. At a recent symposium at my university, a prestigious theorist was invited to give a lecture on the political problems of post-modernism.
Translate this page from English Print Page Change Text Size: T T T Critical Thinking: Critical thinking is essential to effective learning and productive living.
Would you share your definition of critical thinking? First, since critical thinking can be defined in a number of different ways consistent with each other, we should not put a lot of weight on any one definition.
Definitions are at best scaffolding for the mind. With this qualification in mind, here is a bit of scaffolding: Two things are crucial: To put it briefly, it is self-improvement in thinking through standards that assess thinking.
Could you give me an example? Certainly, one of the most important distinctions that teachers need to routinely make, and which takes disciplined thinking to make, is that between reasoning and subjective reaction.
If we are trying to foster quality thinking, we don't want students simply to assert things; we want them to try to reason things out on the basis of evidence and good reasons.
Often, teachers are unclear about this basic difference. Many teachers are apt to take student writing or speech which is fluent and witty or glib and amusing as good thinking. They are often unclear about the constituents of good reasoning.
Hence, even though a student may just be asserting things, not reasoning things out at all, if she is doing so with vivacity and flamboyance, teachers are apt to take this to be equivalent to good reasoning. This was made clear in a recent California state-wide writing assessment in which teachers and testers applauded a student essay, which they said illustrated "exceptional achievement" in reasoned evaluation, an essay that contained no reasoning at all, that was nothing more than one subjective reaction after another.
See "Why Students-and Teachers-Don't Reason Well" The assessing teachers and testers did not notice that the student failed to respond to the directions, did not support his judgment with reasons and evidence, did not consider possible criteria on which to base his judgment, did not analyze the subject in the light of the criteria, and did not select evidence that clearly supported his judgment.
The result was, by the way, that a flagrantly mis-graded student essay was showcased nationally in ASCD's Developing Mindssystematically misleading theor so teachers who read the publication.
Could this possibly be a rare mistake, not representative of teacher knowledge? I don't think so. Let me suggest a way in which you could begin to test my contention.
If you are familiar with any thinking skills programs, ask someone knowledgeable about it the "Where's the beef?
Namely, "What intellectual standards does the program articulate and teach? And then when you explain what you mean, I think you will find that the person is not able to articulate any such standards.
Thinking skills programs without intellectual standards are tailor-made for mis-instruction. For example, one of the major programs asks teachers to encourage students to make inferences and use analogies, but is silent about how to teach students to assess the inferences they make and the strengths and weaknesses of the analogies they use.
This misses the point. The idea is not to help students to make more inferences but to make sound ones, not to help students to come up with more analogies but with more useful and insightful ones. What is the solution to this problem?
How, as a practical matter, can we solve it? Well, not with more gimmicks or quick fixes. Not with more fluff for teachers.
Only with quality long-term staff development that helps the teachers, over an extended period of time, over years not months, to work on their own thinking and come to terms with what intellectual standards are, why they are essential, and how to teach for them.
The State Department in Hawaii has just such a long-term, quality, critical thinking program see " mentor program ".
So that's one model your readers might look at. In addition, the National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking Instruction is focused precisely on the articulation of standards for thinking.Robert Frost’s Poem, The Road Not Taken - Robert Frost’s poem, The Road Not Taken, is a descriptive poem about a person’s conflict with the right path to take throughout life.
Dartmouth Writing Program support materials - including development of argument. Fundamentals of Critical Reading and Effective Writing. Mind Mirror Projects: A Tool for Integrating Critical Thinking into the English Language Classroom (), by Tully, in English Teaching Forum, State Department, Number 1 Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum Project, Metropolitan Community College.
It’s not hard to feel frustrated in our business and easy to feel like a man without a country. And traditionally, the police officer has chosen to spend his/her off time with fellow officers because of that common “understanding.”.
Articles for New Whither Innovation?: Why Open Systems Architecture May Deliver on the False Promise of Public-Private Partnerships. INTRODUCTION by Edward Waterman. Presented here in its entirety is Don Herron's famous essay, "The Dark Barbarian." This essay first appeared in the book of the same name, The Dark Barbarian, and was first published in This book, and the excellent essays within, were the first to take Robert E.
Howard and his work seriously and to consider Robert E.
Howard a major literary figure. Legions of youthful Americans have taken On the Road as a manifesto for rebellion and an inspiration to hit the road. But there is much more to the book than that.
In Why Kerouac Matters, John Leland embarks on a wry, insightful, and playful discussion of the novel, arguing that it still matters because it lays out an alternative road map to growing up.