Critical thinking is the ability to analyse, question, and understand information at a deeper level. It requires us to consider different perspectives, check information sources, and weigh up arguments before drawing conclusions. Developing skills in critical thinking is important if we are to minimise the risk of being misled by false claims and ’fake news’. By contrast, uncritical thinking can be either the passive acceptance of information without question or the belligerent skepticism that can hinder progress and understanding. A balance between critical and open thinking is therefore crucial for a well-informed and analytical perspective on the world. As educators, it is our duty to nurture students’ abilities to think critically, while at the same time being aware of any of our own tendencies toward (un)critical thinking so that we can make informed decisions.
There are many challenges and opportunities related to critical thinking that face education today: AI-generated texts, the deluge of information across various media, internet trolls and ghost writers, polarised views, and many more besides. They put critical thinking and academic integrity to the test. How should we, in our role as university teachers, handle these challenges and opportunities? How can we strengthen students’ skills in critical thinking, and perhaps even our own abilities, given these technological developments?
For the 2024 Pedagogical Day, we invite you all to a day where together we can discuss and reflect on (un)critical thinking. How can we navigate the continuous surge in technical developments that put such critical thinking to the test? By the way – did you realise that the first section is not written by us, the team inviting to Pedagogical Day 2024, but by Chat-GPT?