Category Archives: Critical Thinking

Reorganizing and the Illusion of Progress

Lots of good tidbits from Shane Parrish at Farnam Street:

“We trained hard, but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form into teams we would be reorganized. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing, and what a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralization.” — Petronius Arbiter

“[M]ost of what we say and do is not essential. Eliminate it, you’ll have more time and more tranquility. Ask yourself, is this necessary.” — Marcus Aurelius

U.S. Students Awful at Evaluating Reliability of Online Science Readings

Benjamin Herold (Digital Education) reports on research by Elena Forzani from the University of Connecticut.

In a study of 1,429 7th grade students from 40 districts across two northeastern states, Forzani found that fewer than 4 percent of students could correctly identify the author of an online information source, evaluate that author’s expertise and point of view, and make informed judgments about the overall reliability of the site they were reading.

The ability to evaluate online sources and their reliability is an essential skill nowadays, so this type of research should inform classroom instruction.