Wow. Check out this response to a survey we gave today.
Survey item: This class helps me discover new ideas.
Student comment: Yes, I have learned that a person’s first idea is like a diamond in the rough that needs a lot of polishing to be shiny and needs to be well cut for others to buy.
There is so much to this kid’s analogy. People buy ideas. This is a class that intentionally imbeds critical thinking into the goals of the course. Thinking is natural to humans but much of our thinking is partial, distorted or biased. We typically see things as we want to see them. Most importantly, we are often unaware of our thinking and its flaws.
The Foundation for Critical Thinking has excellent tools for systematically taking command of our minds in order to improve our quality of thought. They contrast naive thinkers (those who aren’t aware or don’t care about their thinking), selfish thinkers (those who are skilled thinkers but unfair to others) and fair-minded thinkers (those who are good thinkers and fair to others).
For education to save the world, we need to cultivate fair-minded thinkers in schools.