• Jonathan

Critical Thinking Out Loud

Back into the Pool

After a couple of years hiatus from blogging, it’s time to get back into action with this new attempt at external processing on important topics related to education.

Anyone who has followed my writing at either Degree of Freedom or Critical Voter is free to skip this and the following paragraph. For everyone else, my first attempt to learn everything I could about an important educational topic by writing about and discussing the subject in public was Degree of Freedom: a quixotic 2013 project in which I tried to understand the then-hot educational topic of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) by taking enough of them in single year to equal the number of courses one would take to earn a BA in philosophy. Much of what I wrote ended up in a 2014 book on MOOCs published by MIT Press.

A couple of years later, a new (self-publishing) project – Critical Voter (a book that used the 2016 election to teach critical-thinking skills, based on a curriculum I put together during the 2012 election) included another shot at blogging, this one focusing on critical-thinking topics writ large (with some backgrounders on self-publishing throw in for good measure).

With this new blog, I'll be returning to the critical-thinking fold, this time applying some of the critical-thinking techniques I’ve been developing and teaching over the last decade to a broad range of issues related to education.

Postings on this site will intersect with many of the interesting projects I’ve been involved with through jobs, my current consulting practice, and interaction with other educators. For example, do state and national standards support or hinder the teaching of higher-order thinking skills? When and how should we (or should we even be) directly teaching 21st century skills? And, returning to a topic that chewed up a lot of cycles during the 2016 election, what should be the role of individual (hopefully super-empowered) thinkers in society?

Speaking of which, this kick-off blog entry is being written on a plane ride to Facebook (via San Francisco International Airport) which is hosting a meeting of educators from across the country to discuss how to improve civic education in America and whether/how success in civic ed can be measured. Anyone interested in what we talk about should tune next time.

#criticalthinking #education