ERIC Number: ED475413
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Reference Count: N/A
Critical Thinking, Community Service, and Participatory Research: Restructuring the American University for a Framework of Learning.
Sapp, David Alan
Inventio: Creative Thinking about Learning and Teaching, v4 n1 Spr 2002
Slowly, some universities are beginning to shift towards a new paradigm, the "learning paradigm," that proposes that institutions of higher learning exist not to provide instruction but instead to produce learning. The learning paradigm focuses on teaching critical thinking skills as life skills. If a university follows the learning paradigm, critical thinking is not offered as "a course" or a selection of courses in the core curriculum, but is incorporated into every college course. If this paradigm were to assume dominance at universities, this paper contends, not only would the work of university faculty be significantly different, but this shift would also affect the responsibilities of university administrators and students, as well as local community members. The paper states that although most agree that the public's confidence in the university has eroded, too few solutions have been offered, and one possible step towards addressing these public concerns is for administrators, faculty, and students to redirect their efforts towards the learning paradigm. It proposes encouraging a shift towards the learning paradigm in these ways: (1) faculty members should teach critical thinking skills in all courses in the curriculum; (2) faculty members should incorporate service-learning components into course assignments whenever possible; and (3) administrators should encourage faculty to refocus their research to address community concerns. The paper then discusses these proposals. (Contains 24 references.) (NKA)
Descriptors: Critical Thinking, Educational Change, Higher Education, Participatory Research, Service Learning, Student Needs, Teacher Role, Thinking Skills
For full text: http://www.doiiit.gmu.edu/inventio/main.asp?pID=spring02&sID=sapp.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A