Thursday, August 07, 2008

Other notes

McAvoy had an earlier talk on teaching using pop culture, and she noted that the shelf live of the Blackwell/Open Court books is about six months. After that, the bit of pop is out of student consciousness. Students today were 10 when the Matrix came out, and their parents didn't let them see it. This means that if I want to teach using essays from Watchmen and Philosophy, I'd have to do it fall 2009, about the time the DVD of the movie comes out.

I have repeatedly heard people here praise The Institute for Critical Thinking. I ordered some of their material a couple-three years ago, when I was at SLU, and was quickly turned off by it. My immediate reactions were (1) this is aimed at high school students and teachers of high school students, (2) this has the same cheesy style of presentation of a management seminar (3) like a management seminar, it might be a scam.

Now I am at an institution where high-school level material would be useful, and people are telling me that there is some significant theory behind what Paul and Elder do. (It is a completely formal, content-neutral definition of critical thinking. This goes against the trend that says total content neutrality is for formal logic only.) Perhaps I should take a look at their stuff again. It may, in particular, be good for the assessment people at LCCC who need to assess critical thinking learning outcomes.

No comments: