“It is education which gives a man a clear conscious view of his own opinions and judgments, a truth in developing them…and a force in urging them. It teaches him to see things as they are, to go right to the point, to disentangle a skein of thought, to detect what is sophistical, and to discard what is irrelevant . . . It shows him how to accommodate himself to others, how to throw himself into their state of mind, how to bring before them his own, how to influence them, how to come to an understanding with them, how to bear with them. He is at home in any society, he has common ground with every class; he knows when to speak and when to be silent; he is able to converse, he is able to listen; he can ask a question pertinently, and gain a lesson seasonably, when he has nothing to impart himself" (The Idea of a University, 1852).At the Center and Foundation for Critical Thinking, we are committed to this ideal of education. We are committed to the creation of a civilized world, a world that can emerge only when we, as a culture, take thinking seriously, when we place it at the heart of instruction, when we recognize its central role in human life. As teachers, we must aim all of our work at transforming student minds, so that they learn to think within every discipline and subject they study: to think historically, sociologically, scientifically, anthropologically, economically, biologically, and so forth. We must help students think through content, analyze and assess it, and make it truly their own. We must teach students to take content seriously, and to see its connection to living a rational life.
|Linda Elder |
President–Foundation for Critical Thinking
| ||Richard Paul |
Director–Center for Critical Thinking