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Speaking Truth to Power: Teaching Critical Thinking in the Critical Theory Tradition

  • Stephen Brookfield

Abstract

How critical thinking is conceptualized frames how it is taught. Prominent traditions in the critical thinking discourse are analytic philosophy and logic, natural science, pragmatism, psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, and critical theory. If your intellectual reference point is the hypothetico-deductive method, then the kinds of student behaviors you regard as examples of critical thinking will be very different from a colleague who views it as the analysis of language games. However, whatever discipline one teaches in—from statistics to theology, physics to romance languages—there is a common intellectual project regarding critical thinking across the disciplines. The point of getting students to think critically is to get them to recognize, and question, the assumptions that determine how knowledge in that discipline is recognized as legitimate. Sometimes the emphasis is on ferreting out the assumptions behind the arguments of experts in the field, sometimes on students themselves making clear the assumptions they operate under. But no matter what the discipline, all areas of academic study are constructed on assumptions regarding what scholars in those disciplines regard as legitimate knowledge.

Keywords

Critical Thinking Critical Theory Language Game Critical Race Theory Transformative Learn 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Martin Davies and Ronald Barnett 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen Brookfield

There are no affiliations available

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