Thursday, January 20, 2011

Smarten up college students before adding more graduates

Original Article

I support the idea of holding quality before quantity. But I have doubts about critical thinking.

I am simply interested in the title of the article, given that I personally have doubts about the so called critical thinking - which I will detailed a bit later.

For now, I would suggest these researchers to start small with just science and engineer majors and test them with practical questions. For these majors, the gain in knowledge is much easy to measure and quantified - but, still, this will not degrade the conclusion since graduates from different school would still not be equal.

As to the critical thinking I promised to detail, I will begin couple of articles I read on the web. One article interviewed three professors and all of them claimed that their field of study trained students critical thinking skills. When asked about how they measure them, all they can say is from their observation. In another article, a professor was asked to offer courses about critical thinking. He ordered all books about critical thinking and studied. His conclusion? Those people writing about critical thinking are nuts, which is not exactly his words - but you got the idea.

For those people like to dwarf science and engineer to knowledge other than critical thinking, I challenge them to master these knowledge before claiming the superior of the critical thinking. Math is based everything on logic or, reasoning, if you will. Would you argue that critical thinking is not based on reasoning? Even though math formalized the expression, it does not diminish any of the reasoning process. Physics and Chemistry all derive their conclusions through reasoning.

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