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ERIC Number: ED374483
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
"It's Not Getting at 'Real'": Exploring Alternative Approaches to Critical Thinking.
Palmerton, Patricia R.; Bushyhead, Yvonne
Examination of the characteristics of models of Western critical thinking from a different perspective may help educators realize what these models do not allow. Western processes of reasoning are highly Aristotelian, based on Platonic dialectical forms. Relationships of the parts are established upon clearly defined criteria, and the methods tend to be linear. Western logic demands acontextual analyses, and critical thinking urges explicitness to achieve a decontextualized analysis. These methods of critical thinking reflect a low context culture in which individuals discern meaning by attending to clear and explicit signals. In a high context culture, extremely important meanings are embedded within the context. Integration of context into critical analyses is not new, nor is it idiosyncratic to a particular cultural tradition. Most critical thinking texts demand explicitness, but explicitness does not guarantee clarity. Limitations are created when explicitness is a criterion by which legitimacy of evidence is judged. Two additional characteristics of Western methods are the propensity to reject experiential evidence and the tendency to focus on the ability to control the future. An alternative view of critical thinking embodies all of the analyses offered by the Western tradition as well as the whole of experience and respect--for life, for consequences of all action. By denying the legitimacy of other forms of critical analyses, Western methods cannot access powerful and important thought that does not conform to its prescribed forms, and there is no way to evaluate those forms that influence the world in powerful and not necessarily ethical ways. (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A