ERIC Number: ED471541
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Oct-22
R(e)Defining the Liberal Arts: Critical Thinking at the Community College Level.
This author argues that teachers of the humanities have the potential to enjoy, at the community college level, specific teaching opportunities that their university counterparts are less likely to exercise. University professors of upper-division and graduate students are more likely to find themselves teaching students about the particulars of job searching, rather than preparing them to be human beings in a social context. The place of the humanities in this quest has shifted, according to the article, to the community college. In the pursuit of this end, critical thinking should be the foremost goal of community college teachers. The author aims to define critical thinking, and cites some of his own teaching experiences as examples of how to help students to develop their critical thinking skills. The author cites his use of Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience" in the classroom. The author's hope is that students will have a free-for-all discussion among themselves as opposed to a moderated discussion or a simple interrogation by the teacher. The author tries to avoid stepping in to moderate once discussion has begun, preferring instead to allow students to address one another. In addition, the aim should be to get the students to find something true in response to the questions posed rather than simply voice an opinion. (Author/NB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Community College Humanities Association Eastern Division Conference (New York City, NY, October 24-26, 2002).