Karunungan 2 -- towards Critical, Creative, and Caring Thinking

Manila Bulletin, September 3, 2008 | Go to article overview

Karunungan 2 -- towards Critical, Creative, and Caring Thinking


Among the relevant philosophical concepts which surfaced were critical and creative thinking. These are found in the Article on Education of the 1987 Constitution and we agree that they should be further translated in the preparation of new social studies materials.

"Caring thinking" is a new concept that we learned from UP Dean of Social Sciences and Philosophy Dr. Zosimo Lee, who defined it as one involving empathy and compassion, sympathy and "perspective taking" (putting myself in the place of another), to understand the world from the other's point of view. One is unlikely to make a good ethical judgment in a particular situation without caring thinking. On the other hand, Lee says, critical thinking consists in asking for clear and precise definitions, evaluating assumptions and presuppositions, making inferences and questioning the results of inferences. It uses the criteria of assessment and judgment. Creative thinking is thinking differently from set ways, considers other assumptions and presuppositions, other options and alternatives, asks the question "what if"?

To develop these skills, Lee suggests building a "community of inquiry" with teacher as the facilitator. Mutual questioning and probing within an environment of tolerance and openness to differences, thinking aloud and together, exploring ideas, provoking sharing of experiences and insights, are some of the methods. Lee quotes Ann Sharp: "We think caringly when we think empathetically, compassionately; when we take account if our action is going to help the child grow; if it is going to preserve the meaningful relationships that she already experiences, if it is going to celebrate the values that she holds important. …

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Karunungan 2 -- towards Critical, Creative, and Caring Thinking
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