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Critical Thinking@Julia’s blog: Exploring what it means to think creatively at Murdoch University

Hobson, J. (2012) Critical Thinking@Julia’s blog: Exploring what it means to think creatively at Murdoch University. [Website]

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I had the great privlege and pleasure recently of presenting a lecture on critical thinking to a Foundation unit. We took a short walk through the history of western epistemology but the main purpose was to raise the question of: ‘how do I know that I know?’ For surely a key moment in all our lives is when we realise that perception and reality occupy separate spheres and the paths we build to connect these two spheres (paths that go by the names of epistemologies and their attendant servants of theories, methodologies and methods) changes what is possible. I recently wrote a little bit about these moments when we notice this distinction between perception and reality, a noticing that occurrs when ‘thinking arrives in the room’ here is a short excerpt:

‘Working as an academic for the past 25 years, I have noticed many ‘things’ that lie hidden and forgotten in the crevices and cracks of teaching and learning at the university. I catch quiet glimpses of these forgotten ‘things’ as I go about my teaching. One such is the experience of partaking in thinking. As Birkerts (1994) remarks, ‘All is relative, relational, Einsteinan. Thinking is now something I partake in, not something I do’ (p. 11). This is a phenomenon that I have noticed over the years, that sometimes thinking arrives in the room. Hopefully, this occurs when I am teaching a class (but I have to admit, not always) but when thinking does arrive – often sitting quietly in a corner – everybody in that room, whether they are talking or listening or writing or reading, perks up a little. There is a general rise in the level of intelligence and it is a collective rise, like catching a wave: we are all carried along to a greater height. Part of what I hope to do, as a teacher, is to invite thinking into the room by actively ‘practising quietness’ and then, sometimes, out of the corner of my eye, I see thinking slowly sidle in.’ (Scutt & Hobson, 2013,p.23).

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