Two California Think Tanks Feature Kirstein Article on David Horowitz and Academic Freedom

The Center for Critical Thinking and Moral Critique, and the Foundation For Critical thinking website reproduced significant portions of my recent analysis of David Horowitz’s The Professors and its sequel, Indoctrination U. I attempted to demonstrate that the noted conservative’s effort to distance himself from charges of McCarthyism and of questioning the loyalty and patriotism of progressive academicians needed further examination.

Both these organisations and Mr Horowitz are in California and are advocates of reform in education. They diverge obviously over direction and substance but represent an interesting contrast between the right and progressives over the purpose of education.

This is their Mission Statement:

The Center for Critical Thinking and Moral Critique and the Foundation For Critical thinking, two sister educational non-profit organizations, work closely together to promote educational reform. We seek to promote essential change in education and society through the cultivation of fair-minded critical thinking.

Critical thinking is essential if we are to get to the root of our problems and develop reasonable solutions. After all, the quality of everything we do is determined by the quality of our thinking.

Whereas society commonly promotes values laden with superficial, immediate “benefits,” critical thinking cultivates substance and true intellectual discipline. Critical thinking asks much from us, our students, and our colleagues. It entails rigorous self-reflection and openmindedness — the keys to significant changes.

Critical thinking requires the cultivation of core intellectual virtues such as intellectual humility, perseverance, integrity, and responsibility. Nothing of real value comes easily. A rich intellectual environment — alive with curious and determined students — is possible only with critical thinking at the foundation of the educational process.

We do not just advocate educational and social reform based on critical thinking, we develop and build practical alternatives. In a world of accelerating change, intensifying complexity, and increasing interdependence, critical thinking is now a requirement for economic and social survival. Join us as we strive to make critical thinking a core social value and a key organizing concept for all educational reform.

The work of the Foundation is to integrate the Center’s research and theoretical developments, and to create events and resources designed to help educators improve their instruction. Materials developed through the Foundation For Critical Thinking include books, thinker’s guides, videos, and other teaching and learning resources. The Foundation and Center for Critical Thinking sponsor an annual International Critical Thinking Conference, as well as advanced academies and international academies in Europe.

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