Across just about every demographic variable, people support more critical thinking, and nearly all respondents (95 percent) say critical thinking skills are necessary in today’s world.
For example, we found that over one-third of respondents consider Wikipedia, a crowd-sourced website, to be the equivalent of a thoroughly vetted encyclopedia.
What’s more, people rely on Wikipedia almost as much as they rely on government websites for factual research, according to our study.
Only 29 percent of respondents say that they definitively studied critical thinking in school themselves.
There’s a lack of clarity about when, where, and even how critical thinking should be taught.
Politicians around the world are taking advantage of new technologies to push a political agenda that divides nations instead of uniting them, and there have been sharp upticks in reports of everything from racism to fascism.
The Reboot Foundation is dedicated to promoting richer forms of thought and to better understanding the state of critical thinking today.Many respondents report engaging in practices that don’t show much critical thinking.For instance, we found that 47 percent of them don’t typically plan where they will obtain information while doing research.But upon closer examination, we found that, on the whole, parents often fall short of teaching their children basic critical thinking skills.For instance, only 20 percent of parents frequently or daily ask their children to take an opposing view.It conducts surveys and opinion polls, leads its own research, and supports the work of university-affiliated scholars.Members of the public say they practice critical thinking, but their behaviors often suggest otherwise.About 48 percent of parents surveyed say that they (the parents) should be responsible for teaching critical thinking.Another 41 percent believe that educators should be responsible for teaching young people about how to think critically.And still another 22 percent believe that children themselves should be responsible.While it’s encouraging that many feel critical thinking is a shared responsibility, this lack of consensus helps explain why people often don’t acquire better thinking skills: the teaching of the skill seems to simply fall through societal cracks.