By Colleen George
I am a graduate student. Like many graduate students, I spend my days in front of my computer writing, editing, analyzing, and checking Facebook. Working to complete a graduate thesis has taught me many things: self-discipline and commitment, organization, and writing skills; but I found that as I moved further through my program I was not exposed to opportunities that would help me advance many of the professional skills that I felt I needed both for my own personal development and to market myself after my degree. Because of this, I began to look for these opportunities on campus. That is when I found the courses and workshops offered through the Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching Effectiveness.
I chose to take GSR 984: Thinking Critically. The course challenges students to deconstruct how we think, how we are taught to think, and how these ways of thinking affect how we perceive and interact with others and the broader world. Through both personal reflection and collaborative discussions, students and facilitators learn together in a multicultural and interdisciplinary environment. Using charismatic topics and engaging discussion formats facilitators dare students to reach outside of their comfort zones and begin to think in new ways. The course engages students in the processes of creative and critical thinking necessary to grapple with and address the complex problems that we are exposed to today.
Through GSR 984, I was able to become better aware of my own standpoint – my biases and assumptions, as well as my personal strengths and limitations. The well-thought-out curriculum and course design allowed me to learn about thinking while developing and practicing my critical thinking and communication skills. The classes challenged me to reflect on my own skillset and, through taking this course, I have identified a number of professional skills that I would like to improve. I believe that GSR 984 will help me through my professional career. Thanks GSR 984: Thinking Critically.