First Assignment 100 words
As we start working directly on critical thinking, I’d like you to consider why it is worth it to you to do this. For most of you, this is a required course for a degree that you need in order to pursue a career that matters to you or pays you well. And that’s a valid reason for getting this class done. But since you are taking it, what about being a better critical thinker appeals most to you? To get some inspiration, I’d like you to read: these two short pieces:
Why Learn Critical Thinking and Habits of Critical Thinkers TFY
Why Study Argument
Then, write a reflection here about what stood out to you from the readings. What interested or motivated you? What surprised or confused you? What do you want to know more about now?
Bonus: find an image or quote that connects to your motivation or habit. Include it and explain why you chose it.
What I’m expecting in these reflections:
Show that you did the reading and thought about it.
Write enough to get your ideas across. Aim for 100 or more words per question.
As I mentioned in class, as we are working on our critical thinking, we will be trying a variety of writing and thinking experiences. The goal with each one will be to try to s-t-r-e-t-c-h your current ways of thinking in new ways, or to invite you to see something differently than you have before. If we want new understanding and new skills, that means we’ve got to try some new things!
To get started on our next stretch experience, I’d like you to read “Look at Your Fish”. This essay is a kind of introduction to the experience itself, which I’ll introduce in an upcoming assignment.
As you read, I encourage you to think about:
Why did Prof. Agassiz keep saying “look at your fish!”? What was he trying to teach Scudder? Is this an effective way of teaching? How does it differ or compare to how you normally think of “good” teaching?
Describe the stages of Scudder’s process of looking. What happened at each stage of observing? (how does he feel, what spurs him on, etc). What does this tell you to expect about real learning? Have you had any experiences like Scudder’s?
After reading, please explain your answers to those questions in detail. My expectations for these answers:
Write at least 250 words & include the word count at the end.
Explain your thinking with details or quotes from “Look at Your Fish.” Make sure to put quotes around any exact words from the text. https://www.thoughtco.com/look-at-your-fish-by-scudder-1690049
In your readings on “Why Learn Critical Thinking…” and “Why Study Argument?” you heard some claims that slowing down is important for strengthening your thinking skills. And Scudder’s professor really pushes him to slow down in his observations. How persuaded are you by this idea of slowness? How hard does it seem to do? Or, how often are you pushed to go faster rather than slower in your daily life? For one last argument in favor of slowness, I’d like you to read this article, “Why Slow Thinking Wins.” As you read, I’d like you to pay attention to some of the examples and experts the author draws on. So, please consider these questions: The author talks at some length about a nonprofit program “Becoming a Man.” Why?
The article includes quotes from someone named Shah. Why?
After reading, please write a short paragraph here in reaction to the article. Why do you think the author discussed “Becoming a Man” in this piece on slow thinking? How does it connect to slowness? What parts of the article were most convincing to you or least convincing and why? Expectations: Aim to write 150-words
Try to use specifics from the article
If it is helpful, make connections to your own experiences
I’d like you to spend a few minutes reading this short essay, “The Innocent Eye.” It was written by a painter. Does anything in this piece seem especially true or persuasive from your own experience? I’d also like to know what connections you see between it and any of the readings from last week, “Look at Your Fish,” “Why Slow Thinking Wins” and/or “Why Study Argument?” and “Why Learn Critical Thinking”?
Please write a short paragraph here with your thoughts. Aim to write 100 -150 words or more and use at least one specific line or example from the “The Innocent Eye.”
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