Future professor? Perhaps. Prepared? Not a chance.
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  • Better to Say Something Nice…

    Posted on February 18th, 2014 sarahann No comments

    We are taught, early in our education, to “think critically.” We learn how to point out the problems in an argument, the logical missteps, and the missing pieces. However, one thing that is not so deeply imbedded is how to offer and construct solutions. It is a scene that can be witnessed at any conference: a presenter states their piece, and then the “questions” offered by the audience serve more to point out minor flaws than to further the research and discussion.

    I might suggest, that we instead default to optimism. Barring some obvious gross negligence on the part of the speaker, I think it is far better to give them the benefit of the doubt. As Shushok and Hulme wrote, it is so easy to default to pathology and point out the problems. Even though there will always be shortcomings, they must not be allowed to eclipse the validity of a work.

    Also, I think that while it is important to know and develop our strengths, this should not be hold us back from learning new things. In all likelihood, something that is now a strength was once a weakness. Anytime we start to learn or do something new, we are going to be pretty bad at it.



    1 responses to “Better to Say Something Nice…” RSS icon

    • This is a great point and probably something I struggle with as well. I think it’s easier to find the flaws and pick something apart than to take something for what it is, and see how we can use that information to move forward. It’s not that we should not be critical, but pointing out the positive is also important.

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