Welcome to the first unit of Critical Thinking!
This will be an interactive lecture completed on your own time (asynchronously).
To understand what critical thinking is or is not, I would like for you to read this page on using critical thinking skills toward college and workforce success. Throughout this course we will discuss very broad subjects that touch our lives in different ways. However, the purpose is not neccessarily to memorize the information. Your job as a student in this course is not to become experts in the content, but instead, by the end of this course, you should know how to access quality information and, more important, gain more skills toward analyzing the information we digest. Read this webpage before participating in the activities (it should take about 60 - 90 minutes to read and watch the material with a careful attention).
Let’s think about how the reading defines critical thinking as “clear, reasonable thinking focused on deciding what to believe or do.” We use critical thinking all the time–think about how you decided to go to college. How did you decide? What made Stevens the good choice for you?
In Diane F. Halpern's article, "Critical Thinking for College, Career, and Citizenship", she discusses how critical thinking should come from a place of inquiry. We should always be asking ourselves: how can we do things better? What is at risk? The topics we will discuss do not have easy solutions, but the thought put into them can help us move toward more thoughtful and action-forward behavior.
In the following discussion, think about how we use critical thinking improve our lives. Let’s chat with the Padlet below:
Throughout this course, you should be thinking about how to open your mind and think about things in different perspectives. This can be trickier than you think. We all think with biases and some of those issues can be carried out in even simple tasks. Let’s test this with the following exercises:
Now, let’s apply some of the elements about thinking beyond our own scope or culture. Watch Chimamanda Adichie’s speech “The Danger of the Single Story” and then discuss.