Critical and Creative Thinking (CCT) at UMass Boston: Major developments since 2010

Critical thinking and creative thinking are defined or construed in many different ways; there is, moreover, no standard definition of what it means to combine the two pursuits. This has allowed the mission of the Graduate Program in Critical and Creative Thinking (CCT) at UMass Boston to grow and develop over nearly forty years in response to the personal interests and professional needs of the students in the Program and in response to the changing make-up and ongoing personal and professional engagements of the faculty. Historical background for the Program as a whole that conveys the flavor of CCT as an evolving entity is given in the Appendices. What follows are the major developments since the last AQUAD [7-year] review to set the scene for the current review.
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What’s missing? Curiosity and a set of supports

A work-in-progress on what it means to foster curiosity in critical thinking, creative thinking, and studies of complex situations.
View these visual aids while listening to this 11.5 minute audio.
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What’s missing in the field of critical thinking?

During my Tuesday class on critical thinking I found myself saying that critical thinking should make a person happy – or happier. In the field of creative thinking we’re not at all surprised when someone who has created a new product – a story, a poem, a painting, a gadget, a company – feels fulfilled. What, then, is the equivalent in the field of critical thinking?
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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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Non-equivalences in relation to racially charged killings

The morning news presents an equivalence – police feel worried after five police were killed by a sniper in Texas; African-Americans are scared and outraged at yet more instances of police killing of black people. In one sense, it should be straightforward to see that the equivalence is false. Read more of this post

Design for Living Complexities: Open course begins mid July

This course explores critical thinking about design in a range of areas of life and its complexities. It starts July 18 and continues for 6 weeks. The recorded presentations and subsequent discussion are taking place on google+. See http://bit.ly/designcct for other options for participation (incl. for-credit graduate course) and links to more details about the course. An overview of the course is below. Read more of this post

Counterfactuals and critical thinking

Most of us are aware of the flaming and intolerant contributions made to online comment boards. In light of this, I designed for a course on critical thinking an activity to explore how to foster learning from internet-hosted disputes. The preparatory steps, intended to be straightforward, took all the time and even then warrant deeper thinking. These steps involved identifying counterfactuals. Below is my draft revision of the rationale for these steps, followed by some examples. Read more of this post

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