Critical Thinking in Global Challenges

In 2012, the Critical Thinking course has focused on contemporary issues, putting them into context and discussing alternative economic, political and social systems to resolve the unfolding crises. We've not spent much time on the theory of critical thinking or developing skills beyond "learning by doing". To supplement our work next year, there is the opportunity to take a free five week, online critical thinking course at the University of Edinburgh beginning 28th January 2013.

Critical Thinking in Global Challenges
https://www.coursera.org/course/criticalthinking

Hat tip to Elle and George for this

About the Course

Critical thinking is the ability to gather and assess information and evidence in a balanced and reflective way to reach conclusions that are justified by reasoned argument based on the available evidence. Critical thinking is a key skill in the information age, valuable in all disciplines and professions. 

This introductory course will give you the opportunity to better understand what critical thinking is, and to practice and enhance your critical thinking skills. To do so, we will use the context of some important global challenges that affect us all, and to which we have no clear “correct” solutions: for example, the risk and spread of serious infectious diseases in epidemics in modern societies, the implications of increasing human population on global resources, energy, environment and climate, and the challenges of human health and wellbeing in the modern world. Possible solutions to global issues such as these are hotly debated, and give the perfect setting to practice recognizing and evaluating facts, ideas, opinions and arguments. 

The relevant background information for each global challenge will be provided to ensure that you can complete the exercises. Note, however, this course is not a course on these global challenges themselves; instead it uses the context of these thought-provoking challenges to practice critical thinking.

It will be interesting to contrast the background information provided for the course compared to what we've been examining this year.

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