life between the pages

“I spent my life folded between the pages of books.
In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association. My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction.”
Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tell Me What You Really Think - Critical Thinking in the News

In a time when humans are bombarded on every side with news from multiple sources, with information that often seems questionable, fraught with divergent points and claims of absolute truth, it is crucial that we filter what we receive.  Critical thinking processes information through what we already know by deductive logic and experience, and enables us to figure out how useful - or useless - new information really is.

Critical Thinking Program and Resources at one Virginia community college help students succeed. "Every 10 years, PHCC must be reaccredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award the associate degree. As part of the reaccreditation process, the college must develop a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). PHCC chose Critical Thinking as its QEP topic because producing better critical thinkers will promote long-term improvement in student learning."  

With so many things that are presented to us as fact or fiction, we really need to be able to think clearly and reflectively, using both cognitive and participatory analysis.  What seems to be plainly true may not be, and we have only ourselves to blame if we aren't attentive enough, or perceptive enough, to figure that out.

Critical thinking is a vital part of democracy, as only an enlightened, fully participating electorate will result in decisions in government that reflect the good of all, and not just a privileged few. 

For more information:

Critical Thinking: An Introduction by Alec Fisher
Asking the Right Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking by M. Neil Browne & Stuart M. Keeley
Critical Thinking, Reading, and Writing: A Brief Guide to Argument by Hugo Bedau & Sylvan Barnett
Problem Solving & Comprehension: A Short Course in Analytical Reasoning by Arthur Whimbey

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