Thinking about teaching thinking
Critical thinking is a promised outcome of many degrees, yet courses in thinking are uncommon, and personal experience suggests that teachers who question the validity of everyday information (such as how much water one should drink) are also uncommon. Although critical thinking is often construed as ‘not taking something that is said in a source for granted’ (Auckland University of Technology, 2013, p. 1), when a source conflicts with a belief, it tends to be disregarded. This ‘confirmation bias’, overcomes attempts to think critically by dismissing information that does not fit beliefs, perhaps because this would require a review of the beliefs and paradigms that inform everyday activities. This working paper overviews critical thinking in hospitality, and presents some common fallacies and debates that can be used to stimulate thinking. The paper concludes with a proposal to test the development of thinking skills in students using an action research approach.