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Critical Thinking and the Liberal Arts We neglect them at our peril. By Jeffrey Scheuer Warnings about the decline of the liberal arts are ubiquitous these days, but they are hardly new.
Barzun may have spoken too soon, but by various measures, liberal learning is worse off today than it was then. Liberal arts colleges seem an endangered species as curricula shift toward science, technology, engineering, and math—the STEM disciplines.
Students want jobs, not debt, and who can blame them? It often sounds like this: Vocationalism exerts pressure for substantive changes in the curriculum and substitutes a preoccupation with readily marketable skills. The liberal arts ideal still has its eloquent defenders, and there is evidence that good jobs go to liberal arts graduates—eventually.
Despite the popularity of business and technology courses, students are not abandoning the liberal arts in droves. While defending liberal learning, however, educators might also ask some more basic questions: Why do we rely on two standard answers—critical thinking and citizenship?
What Are the Liberal Arts? The idea of the liberal arts has a nearly two-thousand-year history, dating to Latin writers of late antiquity, but the underlying questions about mankind, nature, and knowledge go back to the Greeks. Over the past century and a half, America has emerged as a superpower while adhering to a predominantly liberal arts model of higher education.
Originally there were seven liberal arts: Clearly, the model has evolved since then. Neither liberal nor arts is an essential or complete descriptor of what we consider a liberal education. Linguistic conventions have limited malleability, and avoiding the term liberal arts may not be feasible.
Questioning such terms, however—and paying careful attention to language in general—are quintessential liberal arts practices. There are at least three nested, and largely tacit, conceptions of the liberal arts in common usage.
At its best, this comprehensive vision recognizes both the value and the limitations of such categories, along with the consequent need for interdisciplinary learning.
In fact, some of the most exciting scholarship is now happening between disciplines, not within them.Critical thinking definition, disciplined thinking that is clear, rational, open-minded, and informed by evidence: The questions are intended to develop your critical thinking.
See more. A definition is a statement of the meaning of a term (a word, phrase, or other set of symbols).
Definitions can be classified into two large categories, intensional definitions (which try to give the essence of a term) and extensional definitions (which proceed by listing the objects that a term describes).
Another important category of definitions is the class of ostensive definitions, which.
Critical thinking is a term that we hear a lot, but many people don't really stop to think about what it means or how to use it. This lesson will tell you exactly what it means and make you. The program presents a critical analysis of the government's strategies.
She has a talent for critical thinking. We need to look at these proposed changes with a critical eye before we accept them. The Critical Thinking Co.™"Critical thinking is the identification and evaluation of evidence to guide decision making.
A critical thinker uses broad in-depth analysis of evidence to make decisions and communicate his/her beliefs clearly and accurately."Other Definitions of Critical Thinking:Robert H.
Ennis, Author of The Cornell Critical Thinking Tests"Critical thinking . Critical thinking the awakening of the intellect to the study of itself. Critical thinking is a rich concept that has been developing throughout the past years.