Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines

Volume 23, Issue 3, Spring 2004

The Social Dimension of Critical Thinking

Robert Garnett, Kristin Klopfenstein
Pages 11-16

Critical Thinking as an Interpersonal Experience
Rethinking Introductory Courses Across the Disciplines

Students enter the classroom with a variety of perspectives and beliefs, adhering strongly to such beliefs that are most likely acquired from the teachings of certain authorities. Educators seeking to promote critical thinking often encounter resistance from those students who are primarily interested only in dismantling the arguments of others, as opposed to students’ being skeptical of their own beliefs as well. This paper suggests that educators can promote strong-sense critical thinking through the use of joint inquiry, striving to create an environment of greater communal learning, where students are taught how to ask the right questions and not just how to look for the right answers.