“What the teacher is, is more important than what he teaches” - Karl Menninger
A good teacher cannot be biased or prejudiced. A quality thought of a teacher can inspire students to do amazing things as they grow up. But most teachers, unknowingly, are biased and their thinking distorted. This shoddy thinking costs the quality of teaching and thus students' future. Excellence in thought must be systematically cultivated. And this is where a new concept of exposing teachers to ‘Critical Thinking' is emerging. Critical thinking is that mode of thinking about any subject, content, or problem in which the thinker improves the quality of his thinking by skilfully taking charge of the structures inherent in thinking, and imposing intellectual standards upon them.
Polytechnic teachers of the State are now being exposed to this new concept that helps them to go ahead with a positive approach in their thinking that ultimately reflects in their teaching. The Commissioner of Technical Education K. Laxminarayana says the results are amazing with teachers acquiring clarity of thought through this concept.
He says a well cultivated critical thinker raises vital questions and problems formulating them clearly and precisely; gathers and assesses relevant information, interprets it effectively to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions testing them against relevant criteria and standards. Teachers end up thinking open-mindedly within alternative systems of thought and communicate effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex problems. A teacher who has attended the workshops on this concept says they have helped him to go deep and into the roots of the issue. The outlook of teaching is now changed and students are asked not to take anything on the face of it, but question. “Where, why, how and then what, is the thought process emerging among students,” he says. Dr. Laxminarayana explains that those who think critically consistently attempt to live rationally, reasonably and empathically. They use the intellectual tools that critical thinking offers – concepts and principles that enable them to analyze, assess, and improve thinking. This concept, which is gaining popularity worldwide, will bring in a great transformation among students, he believes.