Critical Thinking Outside the Classroom
In an effort to promote critical thinking in political science, Dr. Tom Caiazzo, associate professor of political Science at East Georgia State College, Statesboro, fosters a classroom environment that extends outside the traditional concrete walls and tiny classroom chairs. "By its nature, political science deals with logic and reasoning. Combine this with the students passion for learning, the critical thinking discussions we have on class - from the national debt crisis to freedom of speech and religion - embraces communication, tolerance, and a thorough understanding of the topic at hand in a well-researched and civil manner," Dr. Caiazzo energetically said. "And if it can be done outside the classroom in the same scholarly and intrepid manner, the approach installs confidence in students that they can have an educated impact whenever they go," he continued.
Students agree. "Not only does Dr. Caiazzo expect us to be responsible scholars, but he offers us a classroom learning environment where we can think critically and voice our opinions," said EGSC freshman Branden Thomas.
EGSC student, Schyrelle Rollison added, "He also respects us as students and gives us the confidence to know that we can make a difference. Because of this comfortable academic setting and his engaging personality, I and others personally want to attend class and be an engaged scholar."
"EGSC is an excellent institution of higher education and has a model staff, administration, and faculty that I know others marvel. This is because we have students who truly have a passion for learning and a thirst to be leaders, " said Dr. Caiazzo. In addition to political science, Dr. Caiazzo also teaches courses in American Government, Global Issues, and Comparative Politics.
Critical thinking is an important aspect of education across disciplines, and East Georgia State College, and other institutions are working to promote and focus on integration of critical thinking exercises in their curriculum. Today it has moved beyond the traditional formal reasoning to incorporate the skills necessary to maneuver through modern information overload such as problem solving, communication, and creativity. This is arguably one of the most important skills students can learn, and it can be applied to every discipline. At EGSC, promotion of critical thinking is an important component of the curriculum. EGSC also presents awards to winners of the annual Critical Thinking Short Story Contest.