Quick Hit

I’ve been thinking a lot about this idea of “critical thinking.”  I’ve been talking to friends and colleagues about what, exactly, I want my students to come away from my classes knowing, and how I can justify some of the activities I’m asking them to undertake when there’s no corresponding “benchmark” in my state’s Department of Education standards list.

I say my job is MUCH more than teaching kids how to put words on a paper so they make sense, or how to properly cite an article, or where to put the damned comma.  My job, in my view, is to teach kids how to think.

Every day, my Google home page gives me three new quotes.  This was one of yesterday’s, and I think it sums up quite nicely what I’m trying to say about the work that I do.

There are two ways to slide easily through life; to believe everything or to doubt everything. Both ways save us from thinking.
-Alfred Korzybski



Filed under critical thinking, ethics, I love my job, self-analysis, Teaching, The Job

3 responses to “Quick Hit

  1. Hooray for teaching kiddos to think! We have a great job, don’t we? I’m very grateful for it. 🙂

  2. Darci

    This is oh so very true. Look through the standards and you should be able to attach any critical thinking activities to analysis components.

  3. twoblueday

    Ah, but Mr. Korzybski forgot to mention the best way to slide through: I don’t invest things with “belief” at all, and don’t trouble myself with doubt. When presented with some bit of information I have no independent means of verifying, all I can do is keep in mind that most of the time it matters not one whit whether I judge something true or false (so I don’t), and that if I’m in a position of having to take action (relative to that information), all I can do is consider the source (like you, mrschili, would not lie to me), and muddle through the best I can.

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