The focus of skills over knowledge

The focus of skills over knowledge

Considering the K-12 system, we see that the emphasis on skills over content has changed the curriculum. Students increasingly focus on learning skills, but they may not learn too much history or science.

Critical thinking is not enough on its own. It needs to be used to gain insight from studying meaningful subject matter, like history or economics or physics or chemistry.

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Employers need critical thinkers, but they cannot find them.

Focussing on knowledge only in college does not seem to help. Neither does it help to only focus on intellectual and cognitive skills.

Critical thinking is learning how to use knowledge.

Critical thinking is a disciplined activity. It is not something we can acquire without intensive study and practice, nor can we isolate it from knowledge. Knowledge is foundational to provide the structure to do deep thinking.

Only with some background knowledge, can we apply the skills of critical thinking to problems and texts, understand the strengths and weaknesses of arguments, and offer creative solutions.

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RELATED IDEAS

  • For centuries, the promise of America has been built on the work ethic, with everyone aspiring to have a job that pays them.
  • Work Ethic as it is has not provided any social, moral or spiritual benefits that it should.
  • Artificial Intelligence and Big Data are on the verge to render the work ethic useless.

6

IDEAS

Six levels of critical thinkers

Researchers identified six predictable levels of critical thinkers:

  • The unreflective thinker
  • The challenged thinker
  • The beginner thinker
  • The practicing thinker
  • The advanced thinker
  • The master thinker

Using your mind more effectively is not automatic. Moving up on this pyramid of thinking is dependent on developing your critical thinking skills.

...feel that critical thinking is key to their organization’s success.

But only half of those surveyed said their employees actually show this skill.

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