Critical Thinking

“Critical thinking” is a concept discussed in the missions of many higher education institutions. It may seem like just another overused empty word that colleges use, because it comes across as vague and to some, meaningless, but it does have merit. It is the ability for students to be able to provide their own objective analyses and evaluations using evidence, and is a developmental skill that colleges seek to instill in students. In Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses Richard Arum and Josipa Roska write about the academic quality of college and its ability to instill in students this still of critical thought. Unfortunately they find that students now demonstrate no significant improvement in critical thought because student bodies are distracted by their social lives. On page 4, they write that some college students “Hate classes with a lot of reading that is tested on.” A student stated that “Any class where a teacher is just gonna give us notes and a worksheet or something like that is better.” This demonstrates the lack of critical thinking among college students, which is a big problem. Without critical thinking, learning environments are automated without any originality or pressure on students to be creative and intelligent thinkers and not just repeat what their professors tell them. Unfortunately, this quote reflects the robotic state of some higher education environments- These are the environments that do no promote liberating education, but oppressive education.

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