Teaching critical thinking?
September 4, 2014 8:52 AM Subscribe
Have you ever had a class (or similar structured educational experience) that actually taught you to be better at logic and critical thinking? If so, how'd it do that?
posted by gallusgallus to Education (19 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
(I know "critical thinking" gets used two different ways, but for the purposes of this question, I'm referring the cognitive skillset, not the political sensibility-- i.e., being able to generate rigorous logical arguments, detect fallacies, articulate one's own premises, etc., rather than having one's eyes open to the violence inherent in the system.)
I grew up in a pretty debate-friendly household and have never not enjoyed dialectic, so I don't feel like I have a good sense of the steps by which these skills could be created incrementally through instruction (vs. simply being there, like a sense of musical pitch or whatever). Nonetheless, I'm now teaching a course that claims in part to inculcate "critical thinking," so I'm wondering: can anyone can report a life experience that actually improved your ability to think and argue rationally? If so, what did the trick? Are there classroom experiences that anyone can recommend as having made a real difference for your critical thinking skills?