The Child’s Hill: in every class you find some students that are on top of this Hill, and they can be quite frustrating because they think they are already on the Grown-Up Mountain. For our first year critical thinking subject we had a few students that thought their critical thinking was excellent. They did not need to come to class. And at times some ‘arrogant’ few did still pass the test without showing up, with a 5.5 or a 6.4. They could do some inductive and deductive thinking, spot some fallacies. Aargh.
What we actually wanted to do as teachers is push them from the hill and have them tumbling down into the Insecure Canyon and hurt a little… Critical thinking is not only knowledge of a skill, it’s also knowledge of an attitude: to be inquisitive, question your beliefs, listen to other people’s arguments. But when students don’t show up, we cannot do the pushing. And teachers like to do that pushing.
Downhill, but also Uphill. They should not stay ashamed and embarrassed for too long but make that ascend up the Grown-Up Mountain. That the student will understand that there is so much more to learn, and that that is exciting: That critical thinking is hard work. That you have to catch your breath every so often to continue, but that the views are intriguing.
It’s in the eye of the beholder, this figure included.
Source figure: WAITBUTWHY – the Dunning-Kruger effect