Thursday, April 29, 2010

Teaching Critical Thinking

I am very fortunate to work with a great group of colleagues in the Collaborative for the Critical Inquiry into Issues of Race, Gender, Sexuality and Class. This weekend, a group of us will be having a retreat to write course proposals and brainstorm new ideas for Gender Studies at Butler. We also got a reading assignment: "Teaching Critical Thinking: Practical Wisdom," by bell hooks.

hooks presents 32 teachings in this book, varying from issues of humor, imagination, conflict, and self-esteem to spirituality and feminist change. A few jewels I've found so far:

On integrity: "Integrity is present when there is congruence or agreement between what we think, say, and do" (p. 32).

On humor: "Classes where students are learning new ways of thinking and knowing that may challenge all the belief systems they have heretofore held dear need humor as a mediating force" (p. 72)

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