Blog Post: [Part 12: Conclusion] Critical Thinking and the Critical Person

Richard Paul Archives
Oct 09, 2023 • 285d ago
[Part 12: Conclusion] Critical Thinking and the Critical Person

{"ops":[{"insert":"[Missed Part 11? "},{"attributes":{"bold":true,"link":""},"insert":"Read It Here"},{"insert":"]\n \n"},{"attributes":{"italic":true,"bold":true},"insert":"Concluding Remarks: The Critical Teacher"},{"insert":"\n \nTo be in the best position to encourage critical thinking in their students, teachers must first value it highly in their personal, social, and civic lives. A teacher of critical thinking must be a critical person, a person comfortable with and experienced in critical discussion, critical reflection, and critical inquiry; must be willing to make questions rather than assertions the heart of his or her contribution to student learning; must explicitly understand his or her own frame of reference and that fostered in the society at large; must be willing to treat no idea as intrinsically good or bad; must have confidence in reason, evidence, and open discussion; must deeply value clarity, accuracy, and fairmindedness; and must be willing to help students develop the various critical thinking micro-proficiencies in the context of these values and ideals. To do so, teachers must be students of human irrationality, egocentricity, and prejudice. Their interest must be both theoretical and practical. They must experience (and recognize) irrational drives and behavior in themselves as well as others. A teacher must be patient and capable of the long view, for people, schools, and society change only in the long run, never quickly, and always with some frustration, conflict, and misunderstanding.\n \nFew now realize that the critical teacher is rare and that most of the critical thinking cultivated in students today is, at best, monological and technical, and, at worst, sociocentric and sophistic. The concept of strong sense critical thinking – of what it is to live or teach critically – has as yet had little perceptible influence on schools as a whole. If, in our haste to bring critical thinking into the schools, we ignore the need to develop long-term strategies for nurturing the development of teachers’ own critical thinking powers and passions, then we shall truly make the new emphasis on critical thinking into nothing more than a passing fad, or worse, into a new, more sophisticated form of social indoctrination and scholastic closedmindedness.\n"}]}

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