Article Link: “What ‘Learning How to Think’ Really Means”

This is an exceptional article (only available for a limited time) that makes me think about the amount of time and money spent pushing college on everyone. When the goal of the government is to pump out as many bachelor’s degrees as possible, are we actually ABLE to allow higher educational experiences for these kinds of learners? The author says:

“Knowing how to think demands a set of cognitive skills — quantitative ability, conceptual flexibility, analytical acumen, expressive clarity. But beyond those skills, learning how to think requires the development of a set of intellectual virtues that make good students, good professionals, and good citizens. I use the word “virtues,” as opposed to “skills,” deliberately. As Aristotle knew, all of the traits I will discuss have a fundamental moral dimension. I won’t provide an exhaustive list of intellectual virtues, but I will provide a list, just to get the conversation started.”

That list includes: Love of Truth [seeking, I would clarify], Honesty, Fair-Mindedness, Humility, Perseverance, Courage, Good Listening, Perspective-Taking and Empathy, and Wisdom.

I would heartily argue that we pump out more degrees as a nation than we have actual humans capable of this way of being. We are talking about levels of consciousness, of cognitive capabilities that some people just do not reach. So, while we begin a new assault on improving higher education, I think the real issue is a question that always leads to accusations of elitism: Is everyone capable of or meant to go to college? Does a degree have the same meaning when everyone has one?


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