Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, nationally renowned Professor at Georgetown University, author and radio host lead a stimulating conversation on the topic of critical thinking at Fort St. Wayne County Community College District. Dr. Dyson, an alum of WCCCD, shared what an extraordinary moment it was for him to come full circle to the very first place he learned critical thinking on a collegiate level. “ We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Dyson to WCCC and back to Detroit. … He has long been a champion of exercising the might of our minds to create better lives for individuals, families and entire communities”, says Dr. Curtis L. Ivery, Chancellor of WCCCD.
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The ability to think clearly and rationally is important in whatever we do. Critical thinking enhances presentation and language skills, promotes creativity, and is crucial for self-reflection. Critical thinking has played a huge role in expanding our lives and relationships with others. Challenging and debunking such one time accepted views as the world is flat. Critical thinking sets the platform for a necessary skepticism that in turn catapults research, discovery and enlightenment. It creates prolific leaders like Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King who used non-violent resistance to gain freedom when opposition was unquestioned. Or Newton and Einstein who challenged and expanded science and astronomy theories. “ I think its important for people to think for themselves, read between the lines, be skeptical of what is taught to them, even by me. Not to disrespect their authority figures, but to question them, to challenge what they believe and to challenge what we ourselves believe. When we do this in a reciprocal, skeptical fashion… (not cynical, not nasty, or disrespectful), we begin to ask deeper questions about the bible, about human community, about race, about class, about gender, etc”, says Dr. Dyson.
As an educator Dr. Dyson reminds students that much of what they learn by the time they graduate will be obsolete, but not the way to think nor the methodology and the procedure by which one questions and critically engages. Its important to talk to young people and get their viewpoints. To teach them how to be articulate. To think critically about their own journeys in life so at the end of the day, coming to school is not simply an investment of the mind, its an investment of the heart, body and spirit . It’s an investment of tradition to pass along what has been given to you and in that process do something critical, do something smart, do something amazing, something self reflective!