WHAT'S THE ISSUE?
Critical thinking and its benefits can be traced back thousands of years. The methodology named after Greek philosopher Socrates—the Socratic method—is one of the earliest critical thinking instruction tools known to man. Centuries later, Roman Emperor Marcus "The Philosopher" Aurelius would warn in his meditations that, "Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact; everything we see is a perspective, not the truth."
Fast forward past Galileo, Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King Jr and countless others, we're still curious to understand the ways in which critical thinking can truly benefit us.
Someone who can help us learn more is Salah Khalil.
MEET THE EXPERT
Salah Khalil is the founder and chief executive officer of Macat International, a company that measures and develops critical thinking skills in higher education and in the corporate sector. Khalil is former Strategy Consultant at the Westminster Foundation for Democracy in London. He also serves on the advisory board of the Business School at the American University in Cairo.
Khalil says many skills that we're using in the current economy might be surpassed by machines in the future. These skills will decay with time, and critical thinking is one of those skills that will not decay with time.
Khalil then cites China’s poverty alleviation as an example of deploying critical thinking in real life.
“In certain villages, it was not possible to connect to electricity or power generation or roads. Chinese government actually moved the whole village to a new village where it's easier to connect and therefore creates an opportunity for employment, opportunities to move up the social scale and develop as human beings and remove themselves out of poverty… I can assure you that there were a lot of problem-solving experts, a lot of analysis experts, a lot of creative thinking experts, a lot of interpretation experts, a lot of evaluation experts and a whole load of reasoning and justification behind this strategy.”
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