As an adult learner it is important that I continue to reflect on the gap between the knowledge I bring to my courses and the knowledge I am acquiring. Expertise, experience and personal bias have no place in intellectual standards. Intellectual standards must be the test I run my learning through.
One of the first lessons I was given a time ago was from my social work professor.
On the first day of class he wrote the following on the board:
Divergent Thinking: the ability to think many different ways about the same thing.
Analytical Thinking: the ability to hold different categories of information in your head at once while thinking about them.
Critical Thinking: the ability to be skeptical.
Integrated Thinking: the ability to synthesize all information options and considerations
He wanted us to apply the above test to our learning, thought and decision-making processes. He wanted us to be deep thinkers because we would run into issues and challenges in the field of social work. He did not want us bogged down by political rhetoric. He wanted advocates on the frontlines, not puppets. If we were to be effective we had to think clearly, fairly and intellectually. Be credible!
Returning to the topic of intellectual standards in the Provincial Instructor Diploma Program has reinforced to me the importance of actively learning, questioning, researching and most of all listening. Knowledge and understanding is never independent, it comes from the collective.
Foundations of Critical Thinking has put together a concise list of Intellectual Standards.