Manifesto and Plan for Practice in Critical Thinking

A Collaborative Exploration (CE) in which participants formulate specific plans for how to continue your own development as a critical thinker and, as a result, be able to foster the same among colleagues or students in your work/life/teaching situation.
  • In brief, CEs are an extension of Problem- or Project-Based Learning (PBL) and related approaches to education in which participants address a scenario or case in which the problems are not well defined, shaping their own directions of inquiry and developing their skills as investigators and prospective teachers (in the broadest sense of the word). (For more background, read the prospectus.)
  • If you want to know what a CE requires of you, this CE is completely asynchronous. Simply pursue inquiries based on the scenario below on your own, then make posts and read posts that participants make to a public google+ community, (preferably in the period mid-November to mid-December).
  • If you are wondering how to define a meaningful and useful approach to the topic, let us hope the scenario stimulates you to participate. We will let CE participants judge for themselves whether their inquiries are relevant.
  • Intended outcomes for participants of this CE are of two kinds:
    • a) tangible: a manifesto and/or plan for practice, posted to (with tag #601, which is the number of a course in which students are also undertaking this CE); and
    • b) experiential: being impressed at how much can be learned with a small commitment of time using the CE structure to motivate and connect participants.

  • "If there is one basic rule... that I, as a novice, have learned it is
  • DON'T BE AFRAID! (Frangie, Novice Sage Manifesto)

Books such as Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way provide readers with a program for developing one's creativity, but what is the equivalent for developing one's critical thinking? In any case, given that a mark of creativity is to develop one's own program, not follow someone else's, what would your program—or "manifesto"—for critical thinking look like? This said, all invention involves borrowing, so the challenge is really to synthesize elements from sources encountered during and before this fall's series of CEs. These syntheses or manifestos should be selected and organized so as to inspire and inform your efforts in extending critical thinking beyond the CEs. For a brief introduction to the experience of past students who wrote manifestos for critical thinking, see section 2 of Taylor (2002).

Corresponding to your manifesto, what is your plan for practice to develop your ability to foster the development of others as critical thinkers in your work/life/teaching situation? The plan should demonstrate how and when you plan to put into practice the skills and tools from the CEs - in your work situation or community, and/or how you could adapt and practice using those tools for opportunities in the future. You should include a plan for evaluating the outcome so you learn from experience and practice.

Taylor, P. J., (2002) "We Know More Than We Are, At First, Prepared To Acknowledge: Journeying to Develop Critical Thinking." Working Papers in Critical, Creative and Reflective Practice. Paper 1.