Critical Thinking at the College Level; it happens A LOT around here!

Posted on October 19th, 2011 by

Another greatly admired writer of mine who encouraged the thinking of thinks, er.. thoughts

Which is a good thing, after all it was 17th century poet John Donne who wrote “The University is a paradise..” And indeed it is, because students are not only expected to think critically about the world around us but it’s encouraged! Unfortunately the same can not be said for all places in the world, the University and College being a hopeful exception where ideas can be constantly dreamt up, talked about, argued against, and discussed. Today in one of my classes, our professor (who reminded us all of that wonderful quote by Donne) got us talking about something that, at first, seemed very unrelated to what the syllabus said we were going to talk about today. This conversation lasted for much of the class period and every student had something to say on the matter. As a student it’s amazing to see these ideas and conversations come out of a simple question or observation that our professor had pointed out to us at the start of class. At the close of the discussion her final thoughts were reminding us all that it is not only our duty but our right to think critically! At first it seems a bit daunting, after classes and studying and extracurriculars sometimes a student just wants to grab their Snuggie and watch Disney movies for a little bit. I’m a big fan of taking these breaks myself, but I also appreciate the not so subtle reminder she gave us that critical thinking and having an opinion about different things is an important part of our education here at Gustavus; it gets us thinking about the wider world around us and how these ideas can one day be put to use.. After all, without thinking critically what good is being in college? High school was the time when teachers told us what to think, when we could be in our own little happy bubbles not challenging those ideas. College, however, is the time to tell your professors what you think and why, and they’ll listen and share their ideas as well :)

 

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