Translate this page from English Print Page Change Text Size: Critical thinking is a rich concept that has been developing throughout the past years.
Critical Thinking and the Liberal Arts We neglect them at our peril. By Jeffrey Scheuer Warnings about the decline of the liberal arts are ubiquitous these days, but they are hardly new. Barzun may have spoken too soon, but by various measures, liberal learning is worse off today than it was then.
Liberal arts colleges seem an endangered species as curricula shift toward science, technology, engineering, and math—the STEM disciplines. Students want jobs, not debt, and who can blame them? It often sounds like this: Vocationalism exerts pressure for substantive changes in the curriculum and substitutes a preoccupation with readily marketable skills.
The liberal arts ideal still has its eloquent defenders, and there is evidence that good jobs go to liberal arts graduates—eventually. Questions for critical thinking 7 the popularity of business and technology courses, students are not abandoning the liberal arts in droves. While defending liberal learning, however, educators might also ask some more basic questions: Why do we rely on two standard answers—critical thinking and citizenship?
What Are the Liberal Arts? The idea of the liberal arts has a nearly two-thousand-year history, dating to Latin writers of late antiquity, but the underlying questions about mankind, nature, and knowledge go back to the Greeks. Over the past century and a half, America has emerged as a superpower while adhering to a predominantly liberal arts model of higher education.
Originally there were seven liberal arts: Clearly, the model has evolved since then. Neither liberal nor arts is an essential or complete descriptor of what we consider a liberal education. Linguistic conventions have limited malleability, and avoiding the term liberal arts may not be feasible.
Questioning such terms, however—and paying careful attention to language in general—are quintessential liberal arts practices. There are at least three nested, and largely tacit, conceptions of the liberal arts in common usage.
At its best, this comprehensive vision recognizes both the value and the limitations of such categories, along with the consequent need for interdisciplinary learning.
In fact, some of the most exciting scholarship is now happening between disciplines, not within them. Free minds are flexible minds, trained to recognize that many areas of inquiry are interconnected and many disciplinary boundaries are porous.
Categories are instrumental and practical: Using them without obscuring the underlying connections is another hallmark of higher-level thinking. Climate change and biodiversity, for example, cannot be fully understood unless seen as both distinct and related phenomena.
In fact, two intertwining assumptions, among others, underlie the modern liberal arts tradition. One is that every academic discipline has unique questions to ask, and thus its own techniques and epistemology. The other is that each discipline is also linked to others through common questions, techniques, and ways of knowing.
Critical thinking is a key part of that shared epistemology, a set of skills that apply across the liberal arts curriculum. However unloved or misunderstood by many Americans, philosophy is the mother of liberal learning.
Economics, psychology, sociology, political science, and linguistics are just some of its younger offspring. The various disciplines contain it in their DNA—partly in the form of critical thinking.
Indeed, a defining feature of any system is the concomitant stability and plasticity of its parts. The liberal arts form such an evolving system, consisting of stable but impermanent fields of inquiry that fuse at some points and fissure at others, adapting to cultural shifts while sharing a common language and assumptions, overlapping knowledge bases, and the core of critical thinking.
In art, we look for the differences between impressionism and postimpressionism but also for the commonalities and historical continuities. But however we define the liberal arts, no unique approach and no single method, text, or institution perfectly exemplifies the idea. The liberal arts have traditionally been defended as instrumental to two key elements of democracy: Such arguments are indeed compelling, once it is clear what we mean by those complex notions.
Three dimensions of that ecology are easy to identify. One is the traditional civic dimension, which embraces a range of activities such as voting and jury service, advocacy, volunteering, dialogue and information sharing, and other forms of participation in the public sphere.
A second dimension is economic citizenship, which means being a productive member of a community: A third kind of citizenship and the particular focus of the humanities is cultural citizenship, through participation in the various conversations that constitute a culture.
This is arguably the most family-friendly of the three.Most of us have heard about the importance of critical thinking since elementary school, but what is it?
Why is it important? How do you do it? Here's how. This post is my attempt to answer those questions. College Info Geek» Blog» Learning» 7 Ways to Improve Your Critical Thinking Skills.
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.
BUSI Week 7 Questions for Critical Thinking 7 (SOLUTIONS) This Tutorial was purchased 9 times & rated A+ by student like you. 1 reviews | Write a review. “The findings suggest that an effective way to hone your critical thinking skills includes having another person to confront your beliefs and challenge your thought process.
References: Tips for teaching critical thinking to kids. Abrami PC, Bernard RM, Borokhovski E, Wadem A, Surkes M A, Tamim R, Zhang D. Instructional interventions affecting critical thinking skills and dispositions: a stage 1 meta-analysis.
7 Critical Thinking Skills of Common Core Robin J. Fogarty, Ph.D. [email protected] Author of: A School Leaders Guide to the Common Core and ask relevant questions.
They build on others’ ideas, articulate their own ideas, and confirm they have been understood. Without prompting, they demonstrate command of .