Problem of Critical Thinking
Yesterday I was thinking about my old school days. When I joined the
US school system I got introduced to the concept of “critical thinking” in one of my ESL (English as a second language) classes. Here I was, a graduate from a very difficult gymnasium (high school for nerdy kids who usually want to become – or rather their parents want them to become – lawyers, doctors and researchers) with a four-year background in chemistry, philosophy and Latin I found myself completely dumb-founded with that concept. The only thing that appeared in my head while trying to “think critically” was….nothing….just a picture of a white-painted wall….no neuron firing happening whatsoever.
What I am trying to get across here is the Czech school system – according to my opinion – did make us memorize millions and millions of pages of facts in any kind of subject imaginable but did not teach us how to critically think; how to hold on to a solid argument that’s supported by strong logical facts and thoughts. What I brought from my high school experience in the
Czech Republic was a solid set of cheat sheet inventions. What I learned in the
US schools was to know where to look up the needed information but must importantly, how to logically think for myself. The beginnings of this thinking process were very hard (and to this day still are challenging sometimes). I had to develop a completely new part of my brain that was lying under the cobwebs for almost twenty years!!
Problem kritickeho premysleni
Tak jsem vcera premyslela o mych skolackych dnech. Kdyz jsem nastoupila na americkou universitu, tak jedna z prvnich veci, ktere mi byly predstaveny byl koncept kritickeho smysleni. I kdyz jsem sravila dosti brutalni roky gymnazijniho studia sudiem premetu jako byla
latina, filosofie a chemie, koncept kritickeho mysleni mi nerikal vubec nic. Jedine co se mi mihalo v mozku pri pokusu “premysleni kriticky” bylo, jak bych to rekla…..NIC….mela jsem v mozku proste vybileno…..nervove synapse se ani nepohly.
Co se tu snazim naznacit je, ze cesky skolni system – podle meho hazoru – nas donutil zapamatovat si tisice faktu ve forme dat, rovnic, a slovicek, ale nenaucil nas, jak kriticky smyslet – jak logicky debatovat. Co jsem se na mem gymnaziu naucila bylo vynalezani roztodivnych tahaku; v Americe jsem se naucila jak si jakoukoliv informaci bez problemu najit (aniz bych si ji musela zapamatovat). Ale co bylo nejdulezitejsi je, ze jsem si osvojila, jak logicky premyslet a debatovat ( to zdaleka neznamena, ze jsem v tom profik). Zacatky byly tezke….. Musela jsem ozivit cast meho mozku, kterou jsem nepouzila po dobu skoro dvaceti let!