What is it that it is (producing)?

To any graduates of theCritical and Creative Thinking (CCT) graduate program, I would be grateful for your contributions to a project of mine this winter/spring, which is to convey well what it is that the CCT program produces. As I mentioned in an earlier post, an Instructional Design program produces instructional designers.  An Applied Sociology program produces applied sociologists – people who can apply the theory and methods of the discipline of sociology to real-world problems. The Critical and Creative Thinking program produces, so we say, people who can “use the tools of critical thinking, creative thinking, and reflective practice to change this schools, workplaces, and lives.” What kind of “people” is that – what is their distinctive identity? In a world in which knowledge and credentials in a specialized field positions the person to take up opportunities and continue developing one’s knowledge and competencies through practice, how can the CCT program and its graduates explain to others – and to themselves – what is distinctive about CCT studies – what identity we develop?

In the earlier post, I coined the term “slow mode co-coach” for what the product of the program is.  Perhaps we’ll come up with a new term.  Anyway, what will help me develop my thinking about and explanation of the idea behind the term is for CCT students and graduates to post phrases from course projects or dialogues to convey your insights about how you changed through the course of your CCT studies. Thank you.

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About Peter J. Taylor
Peter Taylor is a Professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston where he teaches and directs undergraduate and graduate programs on critical thinking, reflective practice, and science-in-society. His research and writing focuses on the complexity of environmental and health sciences in their social context, incl. Unruly Complexity: Ecology, Interpretation, Engagement (U. Chicago Press, 2005) and Nature-nurture? No (2014, http://bit.ly/NNN2014). On reflective practice, see Taking Yourself Seriously: Processes of Research & Engagement (with J. Szteiter, 2012, http://bit.ly/TYS2012).

One Response to What is it that it is (producing)?

  1. Teryl Cartwright says:

    I believe CCT produces transformers. While catalysts also create change, they do not change in the process. Transformers change and learn as they change and share their world. This is an interdisciplinary degree, not a further specialization. If you want to be a better teacher or writer or scientist or whatever, you do this with people in those other careers that are very unlike yours. Most people in advanced degrees become more isolated as their learning segregates themselves with others in similar careers, goals and mind sets, yet CCT promotes diversity in order to grow thinking and ideas. CCT learns from its students and continues to transforms itself as well. It is open learning, not set knowledge transmission.

    This degree is not about career stepping stones or ladders, it is a journey of making paths and intersecting bridges. It is not just focused on self-improvement or self-discovery, but on thinking of and like others too. It is more like a foundation than a pinnacle.

    Perhaps CCT is so hard to define because it is actively and collaboratively re-defining and re-imagining itself. You can define what you want from CCT, but what I still find of most value is the unexpected.

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