Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

5-29-2009

Abstract

We often claim that mathematics develops critical thinking skills. Critical thinking has many different definitions, but problem solving, deduction, analyzing arguments, and identifying assumptions are all certainly a part of critical thinking. As the trend in higher education moves away from focusing exclusively on content towards assessment and learning outcomes, we can justify our endeavors since mathematics and critical thinking align themselves well.

However, when examining the ultimate purpose of critical thinking in higher education, we must take care. If there is no agreed upon content knowledge in our postmodern age, the focus of education falls elsewhere. How one thinks and believes becomes more important than what one thinks and believes. As one college president said, an educated student should be able to judge new beliefs on personal values and beliefs rather than relying on external authorities. While there is much for the Christian to celebrate in students thinking for themselves and owning their own beliefs, the Christian must also point towards the ultimate foundation for knowledge. This talk will take a preliminary look at how to retain the positive features of critical thinking without dismissing God’s authority. In other words, can critical thinking be redeemed?

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