The Critical Thinking Series, Part 3: Empathy & Critical Thinking | Augusta Moore | 6 Min Read

July 14, 2021

So far in this series on critical thinking, we have developed a clear and specific definition of the skill as well as showing how a particular pedagogical tool, argument mapping, can be utilized to increase students’ critical thinking skills. The purpose of this article is to motivate the teaching of critical thinking even further by appealing to the interconnectedness of critical thinking and an important social-emotional skill, empathy. We will ultimately argue that through the teaching of critical thinking skills educators can also encourage their students to become more empathetic towards others. This is because the process of exercising empathic concern requires the same skills that are needed to think deeply and engage in critical thinking. 

An example of an exercise that helps students develop both empathy and critical thinking skills is the Disagreement Project, as developed by ThinkerAnalytix. The purpose of this exercise is to provide students with an opportunity to engage with someone who disagrees with them about a significant issue and ultimately gain a deeper understanding of their position. I had the opportunity to participate in such an exercise two summers ago through a teacher training seminar that was run by ThinkerAnalytix.…

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Augusta Moore

Augusta Moore is a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin, Madison where she received her doctorate in philosophy. Her research focuses on civic education and, in particular, the pedagogical approaches that will best encourage future citizens to develop those civic virtues that will give them the skills to effectively participate in civic discourse. Moore is passionate about and advocates for equal access to quality civic education for all students.