Today a friend posted an interesting New York Times article on Facebook. The article summarizes a study about the quality of college education in getting and keeping jobs after graduation. Basically, the article suggests that students who don’t develop strong critical thinking skills in college are less likely to get and keep jobs. It also says that students often believed they got a great education in college, even when tests indicate that their critical thinking skills had not improved, and in some cases had even gotten worse from beginning college.
Now, I don’t know much about this study other than what this article reported, so I’m not sure what the researchers methods were, or how generalizable their results are. But I agree with the main premise of the article–that everyone loses when colleges fail to teach their students good critical thinking skills. In fact, I think that learning to think critically is the most important thing you can do in college.
I’m sharing this because I want you to keep it in mind going forward. The kinds of writing skills you develop in this class go hand-in-hand with critical thinking skills. All of our class discussions and assignments are intended to encourage you to think critically.