Comprehending or Critically Thinking? Throughout high school, my strongest subject was English. I never challenged myself in math or science but I always took pride in how well I did in English class. As I entered my senior year, I was excited to take AP Literature because I believed I would be taking a course that demanded more of me as a writer and as a student. During the first class session, my teacher explained what our year looked like according to the works we were going to read. The class was great and I was confident coming into this critical thinking course because I thought I had been well-prepared for the college workload. I soon came to find out that I was not as prepared as I hoped to be when my first essay score came back and my classmates had gotten such higher grades than me. The difference for me between high school writing and collegiate writing was at an all-time high when I first came to this university and that prompted many questions for me including, why is there such a difference between high school writing and collegiate writing? Are our high schools lowering their expectations for students? And why is it that most of my classmates are more prepared for this level of writing over me? These questions have all lead me towards the answer that in collegiate level writing, you have to be a critical thinker and you have to be able to critically think no matter what task you have been given. After researching what critical thinking is, scholars say that it is the main stepping stone to higher education and that teachers have failed to teach critical thinking whereas students say that critical thinking should not be demanded of them and that they should only be expected to learn and understand what they have been taught. In all simplicity, there is a disconnect in beliefs between the students and scholars. My main focus going into this essay was what it meant to be a critical thinker and why critical thinking is important. I wanted to
Cited: Fahim, Mansoor. "Evaluating the Effectiveness of Explicit and E-learning Instruction on the Development of Critical Thinking Ability of Iranian Students and Teachers." (2011): n. pag. Print.
Perl, Sondra. “The Composing Processes of Unskilled College Writers.” Research in the Teaching of English 13.4 (1979): 317-36. Print.
Rose, Mike. “Rigid Rules, Inflexible Plans, and the Stifling of Language: A Cognitive Analysis of Writer’s Block.” College Composition and Communication 31.4 (1980): 389-401.
Stedman, Nicole. "Identifying Faculty 's Knowledge of Critical Thinking Concepts and Perceptions of Critical Thinking Instruction in Higher Education." NACTA Journal (2012): n. pag. Print.