MIT Press Live! presents an author talk with Jonathan Haber, author of the new Essential Knowledge series book, Critical Thinking
About the book
Critical thinking is regularly cited as an essential twenty-first-century skill, the key to success in school and work. Given our propensity to believe fake news, draw incorrect conclusions, and make decisions based on emotion rather than reason, it might even be said that it is vital to the survival of a democratic society. But what, exactly, is critical thinking? In this volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, Jonathan Haber explains how the concept emerged, how it has been defined, and how skills can be taught and assessed.
Haber describes the term’s origins in such disciplines as philosophy, psychology, and science. He examines the components of critical thinking, including structured thinking, language skills, background knowledge, and information literacy, along with such necessary intellectual traits as intellectual humility, empathy, and open-mindedness. He discusses how research has defined critical thinking, how elements have been taught for centuries, and how educators can teach these skills now.
Haber argues that the most important critical thinking issue today is that not enough people are doing enough of it. Fortunately, it can be taught, practiced, and evaluated. This book offers a guide for teachers, students, and aspiring critical thinkers everywhere, including advice for educational leaders and policymakers on how to make the teaching and learning of critical thinking an educational priority and practical reality.
About the author
Jonathan Haber was an educational researcher, writer and entrepreneur working in the fields of critical-thinking education, assessment, and technology-enabled learning whose work has been featured in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and the Wall Street Journal. He is the author of another MIT Press Essential Knowledge book, MOOCs, and The Critical Voter.