Flexible engagement

In this post I expand to education the scope of the principle of “flexible engagement”—“an ideal in which researchers in any knowledge-making situation are able to connect quickly with others who are almost ready—either formally or otherwise—to foster participatory processes and, through the experience such processes provide their participants, contribute to enhancing the capacity of others to do likewise.” (Taylor 2005, p. 225). Read more of this post

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If your argument keeps shifting from one time to the next, can I trust that you are really open to argument (i.e., to examining evidence, reasoning, and assumptions)?

What follows is one of my own contributions in an activity for the first few weeks of a course in critical thinking, in which students are asked to “tease out a range of arguments people—including yourself—are not happy with, find patterns in them (including across other students’ contributions, not only your own), and try to find ways to be constructive, not denunciatory, of what you disagree with or are perplexed by.”
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Why does no-one do 24/7 critical thinking: a thought-piece

Critical thinking, as philosophers traditionally define it, requires scrutiny of assumptions, evidence, and reasoning involved in any proposition. Of course, none of us do that scrutiny all the time. I don’t, for example, question whether the appendage coming out of my left shoulder—my arm—is part of my own body.
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“I feel some abstractions coming on…”

Van Gogh, at the end of a 1888 letter on display at the Guggenheim in New York, writes:

“I feel some abstractions coming on and if I do not quickly fill up my paper I would again get to drawing and you would not have your letter.”

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Dialogue process guidelines, short list

The Dialogue Process centers around listening—to yourself as well as others. Shared and personal meaning emerges within a group through listening to what is said from a standpoint of inquiry and reflection (Isaacs 1999).  The list to follow presents guidelines briefly with a view to bringing newcomers into the process without lengthy explanation. Read more of this post

KAQ(F): pragmatic, interactive, pedagogical, STS

KAQ(F) is a schema in which the following items are considered in relation to each other:
K—What do I Know? (or claim to know)
A—Action: What actions could people pursue on the basis of accepting this knowledge?
Q—Questions for inquiry: What more do I need to Know—in order to clarify what people could do (A) or to revise/refine/support the knowledge claim (K)?
(F)—How to Find this out? (Methods, Steps…) Read more of this post

Close reading, PBL, and tensions

A tension that has arisen often in conversations between my co-instructor and myself as we prepared for an upcoming course in life science, gender, and race, texts… – by tension I don’t mean something that is a disagreement or even something that has to be resolved, indeed perhaps the essence of co-teaching is that there are tensions to be played out in real time. The tension is that she understands that we cannot assign hundreds of pages to be read each week and still follow the project-based learning (PBL) process of the course, yet she knows how much her scholarship and her teaching revolves around very close reading of texts. Read more of this post

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