ERIC Number: ED390469
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
The Rigor and Exorbitance of Reading: Teaching Critical Thinking in the Freshman Honors Seminar.
Traditional views of critical thinking instruction focus on teaching students to develop skeptical responses to the texts they read. Genuinely powerful and generative forms of critical thinking, however, require students to read creatively as well. To balance the rigor of analysis and exorbitance of creativity, a freshman honors seminar was developed at Valdosta State University, in Georgia. The seminar is designed to alert students to the operation of systems while empowering them to resist those system's claim to universality and to inculcate the values of individuality, originality, and dissent. The first 4 weeks of the 10-week quarter are devoted to mastering concepts presented in an assigned text on critical thinking. The last 6 weeks are devoted to developing students creative thinking by introducing the concept of heuristics, or the processes or systems that practitioners in a given field follow. Students are introduced to the idea that different perspectives or systems yield different meanings through a simple application of the concepts from a heuristic grid used in the course. The course concludes with students reading and engaging in point-counterpoint exchanges from a scientific journal, discussing the use of evidence and the effect of systems of thought. The goal of the seminar is not to create skepticism nor to foster relativism, but to enable students to reject given systems to create their own. Contains 15 references. (TGI)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Valdosta State University GA
Note: In: Proceedings of the National Conference on Successful College Teaching (18th, Orlando, Florida, February 26-28, 1994); see JC 960 033.