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Session C2

8th Annual CNM Conference on Teaching and Learning

Thinking Beyond Binaries: Creating A Classroom of Critical Thinking via Exchange of Ideas Without Censorship  

Rinita Mazumdar (CNM/ CHSS/Philosophy)

Las Cruces, 2:50-4:00

Teaching Critical thinking in an age of monopolization of public ideologies by the electronic media can be a challenging task. To show that one report can be interpreted in the light of one’s own personal experience, the best way is to let students talk of their interpretation of a single story. We do this exercise in the first day of class on a complex and difficult current topic as well as on Plato’s theory of the distinction between appearance and reality. In this exchange, I as a teacher take part and give my own interpretation and then we compare our interpretations and try to arrive at a consensus, by taking into account all points of view. This creates a safe environment for students to speak about their view of incidents even if that goes against the dominant discourse. It also orients other students that the same thing can be interpreted in radically different ways.  

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