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  • Writer's pictureMiao Zhi

Chat with my boyfriend about critical thinking and moral endeavor

​​How do two master students in different majors understand critical thinking and education as a moral endeavor from different perspectives?

On March 8th, I interviewed my boyfriend, who majored in mechanical engineering and industrial design, about 30 minutes in Chinese at home in Seattle. It was more like a chat, and we shared our opinions based on several questions I came up with. I struggled with which language I should use for the conversation because Chinese is our home language, and English can be understood by the group members and the Professor. However, my boyfriend felt home language made him more comfortable, and we decided to use Chinese. I did not have the subtitles or transcript because when I replayed the video myself, I realized that it was inaccurate to translate some words. After talking with the group, I would summarize the content instead of the translation.

We rarely talked about academic stuff, so the video may sound a little strange.

Chat Questions:

-What is critical thinking (How do you understand critical thinking)? How often do you talk about it in your master’s degree? Please share an example.

-Introduction of banking education and problem-posing education by Freire (me). What is your experience? How do you think your experience affects your understanding of critical thinking and perspectives?

-How do you understand education as a moral endeavor? Do you think it is crucial to think about the goal of education? What is your goal of education? Does everyone have the same goal? Do you think you are privileged in education?

-How do you enjoy today’s chat?

For the first question, I asked his opinions on critical thinking. Compared to me (majored in learning science and human development and talked about critical thinking or analysis almost every day in my master study life), he told me that although he remembered when he heard about this concept, he did not frequently talk about the idea in his daily study life.

For the second question, I introduced banking education, problem-posing education, and Freire to him, and he shared his experience based on these two educational styles. From his opinions, when teachers shared fundamental knowledge or facts, it was necessary to use banking education. He also thought science subjects had more facts than art subjects, so discussions in art subjects looked more critical and problem-posing. However, he argued that students were always skeptical about what they learned regarding science subjects, although he agreed that he would need more critical thinking in his future learning and working. They deduced an equation or a theory instead of remembering them. Meanwhile, problem-posing education largely depended on students’ autonomy. We both valued the importance of personal experience and family environment.

For the third question, he believed that his education experience brought him more possibilities, and the goal of education for him was self-flourishing. He also realized that he was privileged to study abroad and had the family support him (how this changed his way of thinking). For the last question, we may have similar experiences and similar perspectives. We both realized how learning happened differently in various environments or differently in the same environment for multiple people.

Overall, it was a great experience to talk with him to understand how we understood education and some words similarly and differently (how we brought our perspective to understand everything). He also appreciated such an opportunity to reflect on his learning experience and consider issues he had never felt before. Please see the attachments.

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