Entries in critical thinking (2)


The Purposes of Post-Secondary Education

In my previous blog post on systems of stress I traversed a fair amount of my professional and personal experiences from 2017. I also got into some contentious political topics, especially in relation to higher ed. A casual read of that post might lead you to conclude that I have a fairly narrow belief about the purpose of post-secondary education, and that I’m dismissive of vocational outcomes in higher ed. Nothing could be further from the truth. This post aims to provide a bit of clarification, because this is in truth a complicated topic.

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Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, & the Skills Gap

I'd like to spill just a few words on the topic of critical thinking and problem solving which I've started exploring in relation to the so called "skills gap." To make a long story short, there's a whole lot of noise out there at current around how underprepared colllege students are from the perspective of employers. There are a lot of dimensions to this conversation, but I'd like to focus on just one of them. A significant amount of research has been conducted asking employers about the skills they believe prospective employees should have (here's an example), and there are consistent themes that come up. One of them, regardless of how the question is asked, seems to be that employers want new hires who are strong critical thinkers and have excellent problem solving skills. I believe that these responses are indicative of a serious problem, and it's probably not what you think it is.

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