For a class I took this semester I had to write critical reading notes weekly. There were several factors to identify in each reading but the most difficult task for me was to develop a counterargument. This challenge made me think: Are universities preparing their students to develop critical thinking skills? Or are we learning and applying knowledge? Are the young scholars able to discuss knowledge to make better judgments?
I found an article where researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln argued that universities are graduating students that are not prepared to think critically. I wonder if this statement can be generalized to all fields in academia.
Professors should teach how to think instead of what to think. We need to learn how to evaluate the information we receive. When we are undergrad students, we are only memorizing what others have created but we also need to think critically since an early stage. Critical thinking relies on evidence, rationality, discipline, and judgment. We must ask questions, gather information, and reaching reliable conclusions based on these evidences.
If we are considering becoming faculty, we need to acquire new pedagogical approaches to provide critical thinking skills to students that will be exposed to pseudoscience and fake news.
- Flores, K.L. et al. (2012). Deficient Critical Thinking Skills among College Graduates: Implications for leadership. Educational Philosophy and Theory. 44 (2).