Volume 41, Issue 3, September 2018
Linda L. Farmer
The Power of Parables in Critical Thinking
Parables are not frequently found in critical thinking textbooks. And, yet, because parables are relatively simple, engaging stories, they can present various principles of good reasoning and attitudes of a critical thinker in a way that is fun and accessible to the students in our classrooms. Using two well-known parables, W. K. Clifford’s Ship Owner and John Wisdom’s Invisible Gardener (as retold by Antony Flew), I outline how parables like these can be used in the teaching of critical thinking, and what the benefits of doing so are. I also argue that the religious context in which the parables were set is not a detriment to their pedagogical value but, rather, can be an added benefit.