Critical Thinking Experience

Speaking about education, Dr. Martin Luther King once said, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.’’ Critical thinking is a central goal of Jesuit education, and at LMU you’ll be asked to think critically and intensively in every class. Dr. King suggests that critical thinking results in our ability to inform intelligence with character, and strengthen character with intelligence. Please talk about a situation that demanded critical thinking from you, and how your choices or decisions integrated intelligence and character.


My hands were sweating, tightly grasping the note cards with my presentation carefully written out. I stood with four other teammates in front of teachers, parents, mentors, and students who eagerly waited for our opening arguments. The audience stared wide-eyed at the title screen of our powerpoint presentation that read in bold black letters: Legalizing Prostitution.

Heads turned and I heard whispering. I knew we would be on stage for longer than any other group, we would face challenging questions and respond to judgmental comments. I had to answer with confidence and poise. For me, standing up in front of a group of people and presenting an issue with the heaviness of prostitution was nothing short of terrifying.

Our junior year-end project required that we write a constitutional bill, create a presentation that convinces an audience to vote “yes”, and get the bill passed. Topics were randomly assigned: other groups focused on topics like universal health care, ISIS, marijuana, and LGBTQ rights. Those other groups fought for bills that were not widely controversial; however, we had a bigger challenge. We had to set aside our ethical and personal beliefs and focus on evidence, statistics, and persuasiveness.

The project...

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