The course features systematic and intensive task-based practice designed specifically for junior English majors at Hanoi University of Languages and International Studies (HULIS), Vietnam National University (VNU) to improve their critical thinking. It is highly practical, applying critical thinking to everyday activities, student academic life, and familiar areas of science, art, and business. The course does not deal with theoretical issues, but it offers basic concepts to understand human thought and thinking processes.
Successful completion of this course will enable students to
- understand basic thinking processes;
- recognize patterns of information, rhetorical devices, and elements of thought;
- analyze, evaluate, and communicate messages by different media;
- identify social controversies, search for relevant data, and construct sound arguments in spoken and written forms;
- identify practical problems, see a wide range of solutions, develop criteria for solution choice, and reflect upon taken solutions;
- apply effective strategies to elicit and handle different strands of ideas in group problem solving.
After students have finished this course, they should be more:
- Organized, arranging information and planning before act;
- Self-aware, recognizing their own biases and influences;
- Sensitive to language and media, developing media literacy;
- Imaginative, approaching topics and problems from various angles;
- Inquisitive, wanting to learn more about issues before passing judgment;
- Self-confident, expressing and defending their opinions in public.
The course is organized based on the four pillars of critical thinking: conceptualization, communication, reasoning and problem solving. It is divided into five themes as follows.
- Conceptual Development
- Message Analysis
- Bias Detection
- Argument Analysis
- Problem Solving
Another element currently under development is Intellectual Empathy & Spiritual Generosity. This may or may not become an official part of the course or an independent course, but we believe it has relevance and implication for any ordinary life.