Taking Motivation Seriously

Teaching Philosophy 29 (3):245-253 (2006)
Traditional critical thinking courses introduce students to tools for analyzing and evaluating arguments and reasoning. There are, however, good reasons to think that those courses fail to motivate students to make full use of those tools. It is this motivational problem that is the focus of the present paper. In what follows, I present several proposals for overcoming student resistance to the discipline of critical thinking. I offer a three-step strategy for challenging students’ presumption of competency regarding critical thinking, thereby motivating them to embrace the tools we offer. I also sketch how this strategy can be applied in sections of a critical thinking course
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