Critical thinking means questioning one’s assumptions

Jon Husband wonders if the real gap in our society is critical thinking, especially in the case of North Americans being duped into thinking that we are in the midst of a long emergency and that we are at war with terror (at war with a concept?). A far greater emergency is what we are doing to our environment, but global warming doesn’t get anywhere near the funding that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan do.

A similar lack of critical thinking comes from our politicians, especially in Atlantic Canada, who equate economic growth with jobs. Richard Florida shows research that “productivity growth may be negatively correlated with job growth”:

Since thriving cities are productivity machines ala Robert Lucas and Jane Jacobs, we now have substantial evidence that shows what a big mistake it is to use job growth as a proxy for productivity improvement and development. It may well be that the most productive cities generate jobs at a considerably slower rate than their less productive (and less developed) counterparts. In other words, job growth may actually be picking up the opposite of what some people think.

Teaching Defiance: Stories and Strategies for Activist Educators, which looks at the need for critical thinking in education, is on my reading list for next year.

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