„The function of education, in addition to acquiring new knowledge, is the protection of individuals against frivolity and rashness, and possibly even the elimination of any form of accumulated prejudices. Hence, critical and reflective thinking play a key role in education. There is no doubt that reflective thinking, as a special form of critical thinking, is a key competence in the educational process, along with writing, reading and numeracy. Education, especially philosophical education, is aimed at developing critical and reflective thinking, i.e., philosophical thinking because, in the words of John Dewey (2001), critical / reflective thinking, by its very nature, is philosophical (Brčić Kuljiš, 2016).
“Critical thinking encompasses analyzing, judging, hypothesizing, explaining and many other cognitive activities besides deciding and problem solving. Critical thinking is a process that occasionally ends up in decisions, but the process is not to be defined solely by those occasional consequences. And even if the decision-making or problem-solving were said to be the goals rather than the consequences of critical thinking, the matter would be unchanged: the process must be defined functionally rather than teleologically” (Lipman, 1987, 5).
Knowledge has a deeper meaning than opinion.
Understanding has a deeper meaning than knowledge.
The path from knowledge to understanding is defined by critical thinking.
„Critical thinking is reasonable reflective thinking focused on deciding what to believe or do.” (Ennis, 1987, 10)
The main questions of critical thinking are: WHY? and HOW?
„Philosophy is built on asking ‘Why?’ and that question is always the very beginning of education because asking it encourages disclosure and reflection. All of this is part of the educational process and it challenges participants to uncover a deeper sense, and thus, to understand everything new that appears on the educational horizon. The basis of this approach is contained in the process of developing, nurturing and encouraging reflective thinking.” (Brčić Kuljiš, 2016)
Question ‘How?’ seeks explanation; it does not stop at what is visible at first sight, but seeks meaning and content ‘behind the curtain’ – through the explained it allows us to understand.
The humanities are focused on the human and human being.
The premise of the humanities is the person as an individual.
The humanities include: the study of languages, literature, history, philosophy, religion, and the arts.
The main goals:
What is Social Science?
What are the Humanities?
„It is driven by a desire to examine and explain human behaviour and aspirations: What does it mean, and how can it be fostered? How can people and communities have the opportunity to understand empirically how and where society is functioning and malfunctioning; to explore the ethical foundations of decision-making and its underlying assumptions; to seek to learn from history; to scrutinise how evidence supports or undermines policy options; to analyse the drivers and implications of a changing world economy and polity, and how different societies and cultures interact. It encompasses all of the elements that make for ‘a good life’ and a healthy society.”
„Although the humanities and social sciences have distinct methodologies and perspectives, together, they help us understand what it means to be human in a complex world that is dynamic and multi-dimensional.
The humanities and social sciences teach us how to understand, interpret, and respect our commonalities and our differences.
Because increased interconnectedness brings increased cultural, social, and economic tensions, a peaceful and sustainable future based on successful economic and societal development requires an awareness of different perspectives and an understanding of diverse cultures, histories and social institutions. Mutual understanding can foster the respect necessary for a peaceful and stable world order in which economic and societal progress is possible” (Statement, 2014).
The social sciences and humanities develop our awareness that we have a responsibility for ourselves, for others, for community, society and the world at large.
The social sciences and humanities allow us to develop personal and social responsibility – responsibility is an interpersonal skills: interpersonal skills are “soft” skills that are easily transferable across industries and positions. Employers value interpersonal skills because they contribute to positive work environments and help maintain an efficient workflow (Indeed Editorial Team, 2021).