Critical Thinking v Narrative

6 06 2017

Plymouth, New Hampshire

Plymouth State University serves as the backdrop to this WSJ article about comparing colleges and universities on the the value added nature of critical thinking skills.  PSU was the top college in the country for the increase in the critical thinking abilities of graduating seniors versus incoming freshmen.

If the article is paywalled for you, I’ll summarize:

The worst schools in this metric are the elite, top shelf, big name schools.  Their response is that because of their admissions selectivity, their freshmen come into the school and out of the box with very high critical thinking skills, so it would be hard to improve on them in the four years they’re there.

I think as far as that goes, the truth is a glass that’s half full and half empty.  In that I think the truth is somewhere in between the two.  I can’t quite put my finger on a precise case, but I do know that there’s a necessary trade off between critical thinking and narrative, and that the top shelf schools are in the narrative installation business.  You can have critical thinking skills, or believe that our diversity is our strength, but never both.  You can have critical thinking skills, or believe in racial equality, but never both.




One response

9 06 2017
Do Colleges WANT To Teach Critical Thinking, Or Do They Want To Promote The Narrative? They Can’t Do Both!

[…] Critical Thinking v Narrative, Countenance Blog, June 6, 2017 […]

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