Author Name: Dr. David Morrow
Posted: October 9, 2019
Course: EDUC 718M Critical Thinking
Dr. David Morrow wrote the following paragraphs about his book that is currently used in a course offered at Professional Development Courses from the University of La Verne.
When I walk into the first day of an undergraduate course on critical thinking, I ask the students what movie I should see that weekend. Then I ask for reasons: why should I see this movie rather than that one? Instantly, students start offering reasons for their own favorite suggestion and critiquing the reasons that other students have offered. The point of the exercise is to show that them that everyone already knows how to give reasons and how to evaluate them. Even though everyone can already do it, giving reasons is a skill--and it's a skill that people can always improve. Like any skill, getting better at giving and evaluating reasons requires deliberate practice and training. Drawing on over a decade of experience teaching critical thinking and moral reasoning courses, I wrote Giving Reasons to provide students with the fundamental concepts and training they need to improve their ability to understand complex arguments and develop cogent arguments of their own.
For aspiring teachers, in particular, my hope is that Giving Reasons not only helps people excel in their own studies, but that it gives them practical tools and exercises that they can use to teach their own students to think for themselves. In an educational system that often prioritizes memorizing facts and figures and preparing for standardized tests, teaching young people to think critically is one of the most important things we can do as educators. I hope you'll find this book enjoyable and useful, both for yourself and for the young people whose lives you'll change with your teaching.
I enjoyed reading Dr. Morrow's book, Giving Reasons. It was a great resource to my students who wonder about how to think critically about the authenticity of resources (news, social media, etc). It also helped me support their ability to stand up for what they believe and provide sufficient reasoning. Great job offering this book in this course!