Tag Archives: journey

Pathways to support the development of critical thinkers, a schema

The central challenge addressed in Taylor (2002) was that of helping people make knowledge and practice from insights and experience that they are not prepared, at first, to acknowledge.  In a coda I identified themes need to be addressed in order to provide space and support for others in their critical thinking journeys.  For my contribution to a recent activity undertaken in my experimental graduate Critical Thinking course, I created a schema that identified what conditions are conducive of other conditions and thus might be worked on first. Continue reading

Support versus puzzling (a 2nd project for the Believing and doubting workshop)

One theme that emerged from the pre-circulated writing of the participants coming to the Believing and Doubting workshop was for teachers to honor the individuality of each student and their best way forward. This matches my emphasis on supporting journeys of developing thinking, but doubts I have about my commitment to that endeavor are explored in this post. Continue reading

Critical thinking, Creative thinking: An ongoing journey (first project for believing and doubting workshop)

The autobiographical introduction I shared with the participants coming to the Believing and Doubting workshop was “Intersecting Processes: complexity and change in environment, biomedicine and society” Ludus Vitalis XXI (39):319-324, 2013, http://www.ludusvitalis.org/foros/pracprof1.html (pdf).
The written work I shared in April was as described in the following cover note. Continue reading

Critical thinking as a journey ( a youtube)

This 44-minute youtube is a practice run of an interactive lecture, designed to explore the implications of defining critical thinking as understanding ideas and practices better by holding them in tension with alternatives and of viewing each student’s development as a journey. Audience members will leave with their own short checklist of tools and processes to put into practice, including ways of assessing their professional development as teachers of critical thinking. (Sources and extensions)


A journey into unfamiliar or even unknown areas involves risk, opens up questions, creates more experiences than can be integrated for site, require support, yields personal change, and more.

In philosophy of science the distinction between context of justification – formulating testable hypothesis and testing them – and context of discovery – generating ideas, which may eventually become hypotheses – has in practice meant an emphasis on justification. Even if we accept that published research has to center on justified ideas, everyone’s work and life operates with many more ideas than can be put to an immediate and decisive test. Discounting that dimension of work and life is to suppress or discourage the spirit of journeying and to inhibit the development of capacities to get the most out of the journeys that we are, nevertheless, all undertaking. For this reason, the planned revision of Taking Yourself Seriously may include a set of journey stories, told without apology for presenting tools that have not been subject to clear-cut evaluation.

Indirect paths to critical thinking

This topic: “Explore possibilities of using critical thinking to develop empathy in trying to understand alternate perspectives and behaviors in areas of culture (politics, education, social movements) where polarization exists and tends to push ideas and people to extreme opposing sides” led me to begin to:

1. Catalog indirect paths to critical thinking; and
2. Raise questions about promotion of these paths and their relevance to empathy in polarized culture. Continue reading