Think Again

GREAT NEWS EVERYONE!

Apparently there’s now an app for critical thinking! Read all about it here:

Critical Thinking: There’s An App For That

Ditch your Liberal Arts education – who needs it?  And hey – you no longer need to engage in dialogue or reflection with others — what a waste of your time! And reading, writing, and learning math? Nah – don’t bother!  And learning about ethical frameworks? Or what it means to be human? Or science, art, music, history, literature, sociology, etc? Money down the drain, I say. Just download this app and soon you’ll be able to think your way out of a paper bag! As it promises:

The ‘Think-O-Meter’  app challenges your thinking and helps you develop a Sherlock Holmes-like attention to the evidence at hand. Think through dozens of scenarios and test your ability to separate reliable facts from assumptions, focus on the relevant information, and think critically to get the right answer.

Wait. . .

WAIT!

The “right” answer??? What does this mean, the “right” answer?

Hmmm … it must not work very well. Not many people I know who think critically would claim there is a “right” answer to many problems. They might even go so far as to frame different questions, or pose new scenarios.  Or at least say, “You know what? I think that’s an ill-formed problem. Let’s consider a different way of approaching it.”

Wow. Total bummer! I guess the developers of the Think-O-Meter need to think again. Too bad there’s not an app for that!

Read Good Stuff

"Made, not born." From Indexed.

This is from one of my newest favorite blogs called Indexed. Every weekday the author posts a picture of an index card with a graph or chart that represents a way that she makes sense of things. Some are quite funny, and some, like this one, are simply right. If you have time to kill (really? you have time to kill? who are you?) take a look around.

Thanks, Indexed, for the quick sprinkle of morning sanity on my Cheerios each day.

Highlighting: What Really Matters

rabbitI don’t like to use highlighters when I read and study because I usually find the bright ink on a page distracting. When I use them, and then when I go back to review my notes, I will often only look at what I highlighted, as if the words that I didn’t highlight weren’t worth reviewing and reconsidering, as if the words that I did highlight were the only words on that page that were worth highlighting. And this is, in fact, rarely the case, and it bothers me that those other words and ideas can become as easily forgotten as the Velveteen Rabbit.

I do have a few exceptions to this rule, however, and one of them is when I find words that capture why I do what I do and what I am passionate about.

For example, I highlighted the following quote (in a soft blue crayon – not bright highlighter ink, if you must know) from the very beginning of Larry Daloz’s book Mentor for this very reason:

“A good education tends to our deepest longings, enriches them, nourishes the questions from which grow the tentative answers that, in turn, sow fresh questions about what really matters” (p. 4).

This quote represents the whole deal about Learning to Inquire that I like so much. I hope that you’ll agree with me that it was well worth highlighting, and I’d also like to let you know that it’s certainly not the only thing on page 4 that is worthy of our consideration. As far as I’m concerned, there are no Velveteen Rabbits in Daloz’s toy box at all!