Education Must Cultivate Art of Critical Thinking

By Boom, Philip | Telegraph - Herald (Dubuque), October 18, 2015 | Go to article overview

Education Must Cultivate Art of Critical Thinking


Boom, Philip, Telegraph - Herald (Dubuque)


As part of the national conversation about the value of a college education, questions are being raised about the readiness of college graduates to join the workforce.

What is it that college graduates might be lacking? Many employers report that graduates do not have the critical thinking skills needed for today's complex work environment.

Critical thinking has been defined as the art of analyzing and evaluating thinking, with a view to improving it. Use of the word art signifies that the type of thinking described involves the development of a skill set, a lifetime of practice and reflection, and continued refinement based on the results achieved. It involves the ability to think rationally, to reflect on the thinking process ("thinking about thinking"), and ultimately, to arrive at well- reasoned ideas and solutions that are logical and defensible.

For those who hold to the concepts of objective knowledge and divine revelation, the practice of critical thinking helps validate our faith as logical and reasonable in the face of opposing viewpoints. After all, everyone places their faith somewhere - either in God, in humanism or materialism, or even in atheism as a belief system. All are founded on certain assumptions, and the house is only as solid as its foundation.

At a practical level, the skills acquired through development of critical thinking are applicable to many fields, not just philosophy and religion. Critical thinking has relevance in the work of education, research, finance, management, law and any other professional area of practice. In all of these areas, the ability to step back and review the quality, clarity, and reasonableness of one's thinking is significant in arriving at conclusions.

The Significance of Critical Thinking: An Example from the Apostle Paul

The apostle Paul provides a relevant example of how critical thinking can affect our belief systems. …

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