Phi Beta Cons

The Right take on higher education.

In College, “Critical Thinking” Doesn’t Mean Learning Logic


In the Pope Center Clarion Call, Prof. Stephen Zelnick of Temple University takes a look at one of the favorite phrases in college these days: critical thinking. We’re told again and again that one of the main objectives of college education is to ensure that students can “think critically.” That sounds good, as though schools required students to take courses covering the identification of fallacious reasoning.

That is not what it means at all.

Instead, what passes for “critical thinking” is merely a set of attitudes critical of the United States, Western civilization, capitalism, and other hobgoblins of the Left. In fact, the propagation of that set of attitudes entails the very opposite of true critical thinking, since such shibboleths as “capitalism exploits workers” are spoon-fed to students, not subjected to any analysis.


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