Welcome to Critical Thinking: Think Democracy! Here you will find everything from the most up-to-date syllabus, the course schedule, readings outside of the textbook, assignment instructions and rubrics, a calendar with upcoming due dates and events, and additional resources that will help you through the course.

You can access the Blackboard site for the course here.

Students brainstormed about our course’s theme and the relationship between democracy and critical thinking.

Course Description

This course explores the process of thinking critically and guides students in thinking more clearly, insightfully and effectively. Concrete examples from students’ experience and contemporary issues help students develop the abilities to solve problems, analyze issues, and make informed decisions in their academic, career and personal lives. Substantive readings, structured writing assignments and ongoing discussions help students develop language skills while fostering sophisticated thinking abilities.

The theme of this course for the semester is democracy. Our working premise is that critical thinking and democracy mutually support and inform one another. On the one hand, members of a political society must think critically in order to sustain the healthy functioning of their democracy and to check abuses of power. On the other hand, democratic values and institutions are crucial for cultivating an environment in which free dialogue and critical thinking can flourish. Over the course of the semester, we will explore the nature and value of democracy and analyze current political debates around inequality, immigration, racism, gun control, mass incarceration, climate justice, implicit bias, and the #MeToo movement. Students will also have an opportunity to engage with the theme of democracy in their research project where they will conduct research at the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives in order to analyze and propose solutions to a problem facing New York City.