Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines

Volume 23, Issue 3, Spring 2004

The Social Dimension of Critical Thinking

Andrea Giampetro-Meyer
Pages 27-31

The Social Fallout of Critical Thinking
Lessons from Social Justice Educators

As more professors implement critical thinking training in their classrooms, these professors not only must teach the process of critical thinking, but they must also instruct students about how to effectively use their newly acquired skills. Because critical thinking tends to promote reconsideration of strong personal beliefs, students may be resistant to change, resulting in various kinds of emotions. In addition, students who have been trained to in critical thinking may experience resistance from friends and family, leading to greater interpersonal conflict. Therefore, professors should strive for greater sensitivity and understanding, responding to students’ personal needs by teaching them how to effectively and appropriately use their critical thinking skills in various environments.