Critical Thinking and Open-Mindedness in Polarized Times

Susan Verducci
2019 Encounters in Theory and History of Education  
In Teaching Controversial Issues, Nel Noddings and co-author Laurie Brooks invite teachers to engage students in critical thinking on issues that divide Americans such as religion, race, gender, class, and justice. Across her recent work, Noddings argues that schools are places where students can learn to listen to others and to think about these issues critically and collaboratively. This essay proposes that the power of critical thinking for cultivating students' ability to participate in
more » ... participate in social and political life is complicated by current American polarization and needs to be supplemented by exercises that help open teachers' and students' minds to alternative perspectives. It points to two potential arts education practices that can help create conditions in which critical thinking on controversial issues carries the possibility of cultivating the democratic citizens Noddings envisions, even in polarized times.
doi:10.24908/encounters.v20i1.13446 fatcat:qvnhesahabab7fk74ltyrhdj24