“Critical thinking is a rich concept that has been developing throughout the past 2500 years…the awakening of the intellect to the study of itself” CriticalThinking.org
Critical Thinking isn’t just a buzzword that means being smart…
it’s actually a subject you can take courses on like biology or world history. It typically involves learning some basic logic and argumentation, but often touches on philosophy, science, psychology, politics and more. Critical Thinking is a skill and it can be learned. I’ve collected some of the best places around the web to learn critical thinking and I created this post to share them with anyone who wants to learn.
The Critical Thinker Academy
Critical Thinker Academy is a website run by Kevin deLaplante, a former professional academic philosopher who earned tenure at Iowa State. Kevin holds a degree in physics and PhD in Philosophy from Western University. His site combines both video and written material that is very informative while still very accessible to those of us who don’t have PhDs in philosophy! Here is a quote from his site:
I think there’s a desperate need for resources that can help people think critically about important issues.
Schools like to say that they teach critical thinking skills, but it’s hard to take that seriously when the vast majority of students can graduate from high school and college and never be exposed to a course on logic and argument analysis, never be exposed to any serious discussion of what it means to have good reasons to believe something, and never be exposed to what scientists and philosophers have learned over 2500 years about how to reason well.
For whatever reason, our schools aren’t interested in this. Teachers don’t even recognize the content when you show it to them.
These thinking skills are essential for logical self-defense, they’re essential for personal empowerment, and they’re essential for effective democratic participation.
So I’m trying to make this content accessible to as wide an audience as possible.
That’s my main wish for the Critical Thinker Academy, that it can be a resource for those who want to learn HOW to think, not WHAT to think, and how to teach this material to others.
This is a link to his site: The Critical Thinker Academy
And here is a playlist from his free course on YouTube:
WiPhi: Wireless Philosophy
Wi-Phi’s mission is to introduce people to the practice of philosophy by making videos that are freely available in a form that is entertaining, interesting and accessible to people with no background in the subject.
They have good YouTube channel, here is one of their playlists:
and here is a link to Critical Thinking videos on their website: http://www.wi-phi.com/videos/Critical-Thinking
To be honest, though I’ve been aware of this site for a while, I haven’t spent much time on it. It does seem to be a resource worth digging into though, so I thought I’d share it here for you to dig into as well. I’ll update this review as I learn more about what they have to offer. However, here is a quote from their website:
The Center for Critical Thinking and Moral Critique and the Foundation for Critical Thinking — two sister educational non-profit organizations — work closely together to promote educational reform. We seek to promote essential change in education and society through the cultivation of fair-minded critical thinking.
Critical thinking is essential if we are to get to the root of our problems and develop
reasonable solutions. After all, the quality of everything we do
is determined by the quality of our thinking.
Whereas society commonly promotes values laden with superficial, immediate “benefits,” critical thinking cultivates substance and true intellectual discipline. Critical thinking asks much from us, our students, and our colleagues. It entails rigorous self-reflection and open mindedness — the keys to significant changes.