Critical and higher-level thinking

A Society with Poor Critical Thinking Skills: The Case for ‘Argument’ in Education by Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz,, 08/15/2013

Devaluing the Think Tank by TEVI TROY, National Affairs, Winter 2012

Why We Need New Ways of Thinking by Barry Boyce from the Shambhala Sun, September 2008The same old thing doesn’t work… because when it comes to complex, tough problems…we have to go beyond the approaches that got us there in the first place… a loose but growing collection of thinkers, activists, academics, and social entrepreneurs who are searching for the “unthinkable”—the new ways that we can’t see because of our old ways of looking… they all firmly believe that the good old world we’ve come to know and love is coming apart at the seams. Systems of all kinds are breaking down and will continue to do so. In response, they champion ways of seeing and acting that acknowledge that the world is a chaotic, deeply interdependent place, a place that won’t yield to attempts to overpower it. We must come to understand, they argue, the nature of complexity, chaos, and interconnectedness—and to train ourselves in ways of acting that embrace this unmistakable reality. full text

Wisdom: The Forgotten Dimension?  by Mary Jaksch…Wis­dom means hav­ing the moral will to do right by other peo­ple, and to have the moral skill to fig­ure out what doing right means. This is not a new idea; it is some­thing that Aris­to­tle taught in ancient Greece…A wise per­son takes the overview…Com­pas­sion­ate action – the out­flow of wis­dom – hap­pens when we stop being the cen­ter of our concern. Then we can open up to a wider view of real­ity that includes the suf­fer­ing of oth­ers, as well as our own – and  respond with compassion.  full text

Salons: A New Intellectual Culture is Taking Shape Throughout the Country By David Rosen, AlterNet, May 9, 2011 – …a salon…a social venue where people gather to consider pressing social issues or compelling ideas…a new intellectual culture is taking shape throughout the country…an unprecedented flowering of intellectual life is underway. It signals a rebirth of ideas in America.
This new intellectual environment takes two principal forms, online and public…The Internet is home to a new intellectual culture….Less discussed are the efforts by people to reclaim public space for discussion and social engagement over ideas…. America is in the midst of the gravest economic and social crisis since the Great Depression and a growing number of people recognize that the nation’s future is at stake. They increasingly reject the politician’s bought-and-paid-for words of reassurance and the swill promulgated by media blowviators. The tempo of political debate is intensifying and people are seeking new, more intimate and engaging forums for discussion, debate and action….They speak to the great desire to not simply seriously intellectually reflect on important issue and meet similar like-minded people, but to fashion a political outlook and activism that truly is personally meaningful and makes a difference. Welcome to the 21st century…

Why Teaching People to Think for Themselves Is Repugnant to Religious Zealots and Rick Santorum by Henry A. Giroux, Truthout | Op-Ed, February 22, 2012

Religious Freedom” and the Conservative Quest for Absolute Truth By Ira Chernus, Religion Dispatches, February 21, 2012

A Crisis from the Top: The Unwisdom of Elites by Paul Krugman, New York Times,

Thinking in More Sophisticated Ways by James R. Flynn, February 27, 2012

A brainpower revolution By Eugene Robinson, Washington Post, December 26, 2011 - This is a moment when policymakers should be thinking big, not small….The complex and difficult questions we’re avoiding, however, may haunt us through the century…It’s crazy to have spent so much brainpower and energy on a skirmish that was purely tactical, while blithely ignoring the enormous challenges we face…The central issue is the prospect of decline. For much of the 20th century, theUnited Statesboasted the biggest, most vibrant economy in the world and its citizens enjoyed the best quality of life. The former is still obviously true; the latter, arguably still the case. But there is a sense that we’re fading — that tomorrow might not be as bright as today. Our systems seem to have become sclerotic…. colleges and universities…medical care…economic mobility…manufacturing sector…rich countries can only excel at high-end manufacturing that requires more brains than brawn. Our future lies in knowledge and information. So let’s go there…The solution that conservatives advocate — let free markets do it — isn’t enough….It’s important to remember that markets are supposed to serve the nation, not the other way around. And it’s important to recognize that while long-term debt isn’t the most urgent problem facing the nation, it has to be addressed. Transformation, after all, isn’t cheap…Is the political system broken? Yes, but this can’t be an excuse. The system didn’t break itself. Our elected officials put in place the rules that create dysfunction — campaign finance regulations that allow money to corrupt the political process, redistricting procedures that ensconce our representatives in districts where they couldn’t lose if they tried. The rules can be changed. But our leaders, beginning with Obama, can’t settle for playing small ball. As he campaigns for reelection, the president’s task is to explain why this is a time to think big — and why we have no choice.

The Value Of Dissent by William G. Bowen, Forbes, September, 2010

President Obama’s Remarks to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, New York Times, March 10, 2009 March 10, 2009

Texas Republicans express ‘regret’ for officially opposing critical thinking skills by Laura Clawson, Daily Kos, June 29, 2012

In Defense of the Generalist by Carter Phipps,, April 26, 2012

The Death of Liberal Arts by Nancy Cook, Newsweek Web Exclusive, April 5, 2010