Is there a crisis of critical thinking? Instead of healthy debate, are we burying our heads in the sand, demanding censorship of messages we don’t like? Julie Bogart, author of Raising Critical Thinkers, discusses being self-aware and how the ostrich effect causes us to ignore data we don’t like. She expands on questions to ask ourselves, our friends, and our children to get beyond our bias and engage our critical thinking skills.
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Julie Bogart, Raising Critical Thinkers
Bogart’s new book, Raising Critical Thinkers, is out right now. I asked if there’s a critical thinking crisis, how to get others to see their own bias, and why people tend to sensationalize harm or their own victim status to protect their emotional energy.
A Few Big Ideas Discussed:
1. Censoring Dangerous Ideas
We discuss why censorship of ideas we don’t like—even dangerous ones—can be worse than the ideas themselves. Dangerous ideas don’t go away when we censor them; they just move into dark corners where they fester and attract larger followings.
How then, should we approach concerning ideas in the public square? Engage publicly, so people can see for themselves why the idea is concerning. Shed light on bad ideas. Don’t hide them!
2. How Do We Vet Information Online
The web is full of misleading or heavily-biased information, but how do we know what is accurate? Are there standard ways to vet websites, data, and make sure our minds aren’t being taken captive by fake news or dangerous ideas? Should we trust experts? What if they’re wrong? How do we know? Bogart has some excellent strategies.
She explains how to properly vet information and sources to make sure you’re forming accurate opinions and perspectives, and why Wikipedia and search engines may not actually be showing you the best information.
Learn More About Julie Bogart
Raising Critical Thinkers, by Julie Bogart, is available NOW. Check out the book website for the free book club guide, follow Julie on her Instagram page, and buy the book on Amazon here. You can also learn more about Bogart on her Brave Writer website if you’re looking for support for writing with kids.
Julie was published by Penguin Random House, but how did she do it? Her strategy to amplify her message is to have better insight, a message no one has heard before, but also make more intentional efforts to communicate that insight.
- Here’s the New York Times opinion piece that seems to promote the idea of using Wikipedia as a source, and Google results as a good source. What do you think- did the author miss the mark?
- Here’s my piece in the Washington Post. Before writing this piece, I actually thought a longer barrel on a firearm made it more accurate. I was so wrong.