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ERIC Number: ED354572
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Oct-30
Pages: 15
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Critical Thinking: Friend or Foe of Higher Education.
Swarts, Valerie R.
Recent educational reform by proponents of multiculturalism and diversity has tended to identify with cultures other than the dominant one and to embrace variations in race, gender, age, or others. However, this trend has caused a backlash by conservative elements against what has become known as "political correctness," a backlash which in turn has been extended to include an attack on the new emphasis on critical thinking. Critical thinking should be thought of as the foundation of all successful problem solving and decision making, with roots dating back to Socrates. Recently, especially in the 1980s, it has seen a great renaissance of interest and prestige among educators. This sharp rise contrasts with the 1950s, a period when America demonstrated an anti-intellectual atmosphere which put little emphasis on critical thinking. Today's students appear to be poorly prepared as critical thinkers, and critical thinking skills have a crucial role to play in the inquiry of values and the fostering of effective citizenship. In spite of this lack, critical thinking initiatives have constantly faced attack from the conservative agenda. Rather than attack the attempts to deal with the growing global diversity and multicultural perspectives in society, educators should recognize critical thinking ventures as worthwhile and valuable moves toward greater understanding and tolerance. In short, critical thinking performed in an atmosphere of, and with an attitude of, intellectual courage will be society's greatest strength in meeting challenges and diversity without fear. (Twenty-six footnotes are attached.) (HB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A