The Art of Critical Thinking
"Critical thinking is a desire to seek, patience to doubt, fondness to meditate, slowness to assert, readiness to consider, carefulness to dispose and set in order; and hatred for every kind of imposture." Francis Bacon (1605)
The faculty at East Georgia State College has long recognized the ability to think critically as an important component of an effective general education curriculum. Critical thinking is included among the College’s general education student learning outcomes as SLO No. 3: Students will demonstrate skill in logic and critical thinking.
The concept of critical thinking is not new to EGSC; many courses include a focus on assessing data and thinking critically. However, there has not been a formalized plan on the campus that would give weight to all stakeholders becoming involved in thinking critically, modeling the behavior for students, and consciously incorporating the concept in the presentation of course content to students.
Our QEP plan involves the commitment of faculty, staff, and community members in providing students with the tools and skills needed to think critically both in their academic studies and in real life after college. Our QEP also provides a blueprint for imbedding critical thinking into the College’s revised core curriculum.
The measurement of specific critical thinking skills will be facilitated through the assessment of the following student learning outcomes based on the College’s definition of critical thinking.
Question - Students will be able to identify a problem or conflict, determine the related factors and outline the necessary steps for a solution.
Analyze - Students will be able to analyze primary data or sources to determine their structure, validity and usefulness.
Discuss - Students will be able to engage in productive verbal communication of ideas in a classroom setting, working toward a solution or conclusion.
Debate - Students will be able to use facts and viewpoints to present a persuasive argument in a forum of competing perspectives to achieve rational conclusions and effective compromises.
Critique - Students will be able to research opposing arguments in a controversial issue and evaluate the strength of the arguments to determine the student's stance.