Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Develop Socially Critical Thinking



File:Auguste Rodin - Grubleren 2005-03.jpg


Critical thinking is a stage preceding creativity. Only when one sees problems with an institution or theory or behavior does one consider a creative alternative. Critical thinking lays out the problems, then creative thinking solves them. Critical thinking rebels, creative thinking finds something to respect and devote its labors to. Critical thinking is the first step that we take on the road to creation thus its importance cannot be minimized. Traits that contribute to good critical thinking are absurdity, negation, humor, rebellion against rules, individuality etc. -- similar to creative behavior.

Critical thinking is a very important part of any curriculum in public school. It represents a transitional place between rote and imagination; it is the realm of rebellion and individuality. In critical thinking, the techniques of analysis and argument have been learned and now are being aimed against the curriculum itself -- some of it is accepted, some is rejected. So while critical thought may seem illogical at first, the best forms of it actually proceed from existing thought methods, the difference is that the individual takes the logic all the way to its compatible conclusion.

The negative method leads to a budding creativity. Individuality, negative critique, turning things upside down, satire, absurdity, morality, idealism, righteousness, all lead the student to the gate of creativity. Next she or he strides through it directly into innovation and fantasy.

Encouraging idealism and ethics is an important feature of a critical thinking class, because measures must be given to the student to evaluate an existing thesis or practice. And idealism is essential because it provides the drive that youth will need to sustain a campaign to analyze and reject contemporary biases. People who lack idealism, who are tainted with the “pragmatic” issues of life are unlikely to be very critical of any system. Pragmatism is not the standard of a moral army, it is more sigh of the “practical” person who thinks all the horizons of idealism have been explored and conquered. Anyone can be pragmatic and find a limitation to an ideal, but to champion the ideal against an established theory or institution takes much more mental and spiritual power.

Classes in creativity can now take the student beyond critical thinking to a whole new mental phase. So critical thinking is a ramp or launch; it lies between the thread mind curriculum and the sphere mind curriculum.

And critical thinking can be applied not only to social theories or philosophies but also to devices and machines, art, business and much more. The student can ask why was it done this way, why not another, a better way and so on.

If trained properly, the student will pass through critical thinking only once in a lifetime, then she or he will pass into true creativity. In this higher phase, individuals will manage both thread mind and sphere mind behaviors together, old things and new things together, systematic things and creative things together. No longer are they in the middle state of creativity, now they are in all states and between them too.

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