Rupananda's forum topic is a doozy, and I admire his very well-researched and well articulated opening to the discussion. Critical thinking is yet another contemporary concept (some might even describe it as a buzz word.) Invariably, it's an important concept to discuss but my views may be opposite to the latest trends.
Here are some eye-catching quotes that speak to me:
"This involves more than asking young people to “look critically” at something, as if criticism was a mechanical task."
"Seen as a skill, critical thinking can also mean subjection to the conformism of an ideological yoke."
"When teachers talk about the need to be “critical” they often mean instead that students must “conform”. "
"Socrates only sought knowledge and to be a Socrates today means putting knowledge first."
As facilitators, we must put knowledge first and model critical behavior. However, the expectation to teach the skill of critical thinking is hypocritical, and to believe we can is self-adulating.
Here's my equation:
Teaching= modeling behavior + skills + knowledge
Critical thinking= education + experience