Another reason that college is a good thing…..

I have been trying to put my finger on the phrase that best describes something I often see missing in those who have not had a college experience of some sort. It finally came to me a while back….it is the lack of critical thinking skills.

In a college situation, your work is constantly being scrutinized and held up to public scrutiny. You are forced to not only evaluate the work of others but to thoughtfully consider what they have produced as well, whether it be a project, a written paper, an artistic work, a performance, etc. You develop these skills not only by what you hear others say in their evaluations, but by formulating your own thoughts, presenting them, and then sometimes failing, and sometimes succeeding.

If one goes straight from a high school or homeschooling environment into their own home, this is not developed. Independent study and self-teaching will not give one those skills. Your world seems much too small and it certainly does prohibit the types of ministry you are able to have with others as well as an ability to process and evaluate the world around you. A formal college education, studying with others who have developed these skills and are able to train you to do likewise, can address this.

I am convinced that these are skills that are much needed just to be able to present one’s self to others, whether we are having a discussion with a friend or spouse or if we are debating an issue, hoping to gain credibility for our position. If these skills aren’t developed and polished, I believe you will reach a physical maturity level but will lack an emotional maturity that allows you to listen and hear others and then respond accordingly.

I will give a practical example of this. I have been involved in a Toastmaster’s club for about 5 years. Half of what we do is to present speeches and the other half is to evaluate other’s speeches. My pet peeve is when an evaluator bases his evaluation of someone’s speech solely on his own experience as he listened to the speech. This happens too frequently, sometimes with seasoned club members. I have come to realize that many of the people who do this have had little formal education and have not been forced to think outside of their own boxes. Thus, they only bring their own experiences and own feelings to the table.

Does anyone else see this?