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Monday, October 31, 2016

The "Good" Student & Critical Thinking

Except during my Masters studies - and I suspect those professors were not concerned with rigorously grading an almost fifty year old - my school grades have put me solidly on the bell curve: A few "A's", a fair number of "B's" and "C's", a few "D's" and at least one ''F". Obviously, the Ivy League didn't beckon and my grades as an undergraduate didn't move me from the muddle of the middle.

Grades aside, however, I've usually been an attentive and willing student, despite having an otherwise contrary nature. In addition, I enjoyed school from a young age and usually found that most of my teachers deserved respect. And much of what they taught has remained with me.

Still, some years back, I became aware of how this innate tendency to be a "good" student has one downside. Sometimes, my critical thinking skills get a little dull. That is, in some situations - formal school and otherwise - I've allowed things taught to me to become difficult-to-dislodge dogma. Ever detected anything like this in yourself? What do you do to dislodge an old no longer useful learning?

I'm hyper-aware of my responsibility from the other side of this equation, i.e. teaching others. I make a real effort to stress the importance of critical thinking, especially when faced with a "good" student like myself, grades notwithstanding.

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