Critical thinking for a better world!

I was grousing quite a bit in my last post about the possible future of the education system in the U.S., but it also made me energized to come back and try, even in some small way, to make a positive contribution and have my voice heard. Everyone can have an impact!

As this is a blog on General Education, I should not venture too far from my wheelhouse — and I found a perfect article to take me back there. This nice little write-up from the Hays Free Press touts the importance of both critical thinking and using your library; who knew?! It even gives a shout out to Opposing Viewspoints, one of my favorite databases. Here, you can find succinct, thoughtfully written viewpoints from both sides of the spectrum on a number of issues. As the author says, thought, it’s not free so here is yet another vital reason that we need our libraries!

It’s encouraging to read that there are still those who appreciate what your library can do for you and how working to think critically can make you a better person. The article presents a simple but profound message.

http://haysfreepress.com/2017/02/01/critical-thinking-saves-the-day/

The state of higher education in 2017

Good evening!

I can’t believe I’ve let almost a year go by since updating this blog. I love writing, and I never intended to wait this long to post, but I figured it was time to get started again. Since the election, my mind has been refocused on the importance of education, facts and teaching our students that yes, there are proper places to find good, reliable information so they can be informed, thoughtful citizens.

While I’ve been incredibly sad and discouraged by the election results, I’m also more fired up than I’ve ever been. I’m incredibly worried about the state of education as a whole, not just as the university level. There are so many important, current topics that I don’t know where to begin — the possible (and I think probable) confirmation of Besty DeVos as Secretary of Education, the whole “alternative facts” saga and Trump’s general disregard and disrespect for the scientific community. As I begin to post more over the coming weeks, I would like to talk about these in more depth.

The news is not necessarily good from a General Education perspective. It has not taken long for the attack on information literacy to begin, as I hear more and more arguments about how any news source is valid these days. The¬†High Plains Daily Leader and Times published a strange op-ed on how there is apparently no way to actually teach a student what sources are valid. It is no wonder, then, that the concept of alternative facts don’t bother a certain segment of the population.

As academics, we must be willing to face these issues and acknowledge them, even if we don’t enjoy the topic. We are doing out students a great disservice otherwise.