critical thinking

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Posted by: | Posted on: January 31, 2017

Cambodian leaders and educators must be aware and serious on building up critical thinking

Political Paradigm of Pragmatism from the Khmer Youth part 97

This part (97), Mr. Sophan analysed on shortcoming of “critical thinking” among Cambodian citizens especially public leaders, educators, and general citizens.

Courtesy: educatorstechnology.com

Courtesy: educatorstechnology.com

Up to today, the pure democracy has not existed in this world. Up to today, the pure communism has not existed in this world. The middle path engagement has been visible everywhere. But those countries that are moving away from this middle path are practically fragile states or failed states respectively. Our well-known ancient political philosophers such as Plato said “you should not honor men more than truth”, or legendary Socrates who accepted to die than giving up his “true word”, or Lord Buddha who advocated for “Dhamma-thepady Democracy or Dhamma Supremacy Democracy” since thousand centuries ago, have lighted up till today. Dhamma Supremacy Democracy literally means “rule of laws democracy”. In practice, Bhikkhu monks used major consensus to make decision-making upon well-adopted Vinaya or rule of laws. At least, there are three levels of “rule of laws” taught by Lord Buddha: the conventional truth or man-made rule of laws (Vinaya or disciplinary discourse), natural truth of rule of laws (Dhamma or natural truth of long discourse”, and ultimate truth or ultimate rule of laws (Abbhidhamma or ultimate truth of metaphysic discourse”. Buddha also addressed the three majority policy such as self supremacy (Atta-thepady), populace supremacy (Loka-thepady), and Dhamma supremacy (Dhamma-thepady) which he concluded that all those supremacy are beneficial by resembling within the line of “rule of laws” or Dhamma, not a single identity.

Look at Cambodia, there seems no core value of “rule of laws” have been embedded. Many civilized nations have evolved their political arguments into monarchy, republican, democrat, or conservative etc. to maximize the interest of their nations. But Cambodia has likely evolved into more self-inflicting political argument than those progressive political embeddedness. While Cambodia has adopted conventional man-made truth (rule of laws) called “Constitution” in 1993, none of the powerful leader has ever dedicated himself to build this truth for this country. As a result, the embeddedness of disarrayed citizenship has been omnipresent displayed. For instance, when two Cambodians are facing road-accident argumentation with each other, the two shall accuse each other to seek “wrong” and “right” rarely upholding principle to depend on nation-state’s rule of laws. And for the powerful leader(s), they will use “rule by laws” to accuse or punish individuals or “inferiors” at their helm to legitimize righteousness like what Khmer saying popularly coined “not kick the ball but the player”. Constitution has been born by the attempt of “critical thinking” but the Constitutional Council, the three branches of government, and the citizens in general, are running out their inner “critical thinking”.

Posted by: | Posted on: January 24, 2017

Cambodia is at Palliative Care stage and needing MOST

Critical Thinking & Political Analysis:

Experiencing through a lifelong learning and a lifelong antagonising of Cambodia politics has not been placing myself into a vague cliché. Hearing through rhetoric of public leader(s) to professional club(s), you might loss your sight to comprehend what are their “critical thinking”, “political correctness”, and “so-called professionalism” etc. at. With this fundamental doubt, I am easily called “sarcastic”, “ill-minded”, or “taunted” etc. If sometime, someone explicitly used direct word to some individual(s)’s bad behaviour or irresponsibility of their duties, that person could be become the “accuser” to the “accused” by the middleman without having a “proper critical thinking”. Sometime, if one made a general statement in their writing, such general statement could not be free from being labeled as being an “accuser” as such general statement could be made into the identified “accuser” and the “accused” by the member. Sometime, the good intention to advise for a beneficial solution, such advise could be dragged into something else and you could be responded to focus on your club, not my club etc. And sometime, I am very concerned on the disarray of the argument on “majority” and “minority” political mantra.

Plato on TruthUp to today, the pure democracy has not existed in this world. Up to today, the pure communism has not existed in this world. The middle path engagement has been visible everywhere. But those countries that are moving away from this middle path are practically fragile states or failed states respectively. Our well-known ancient political philosophers such as Plato said “you should not honor men more than truth”, or legendary Socrates who accepted to die than giving up his “true word”, or Lord Buddha who advocated for “Dhamma-thepady Democracy or Dhamma Supremacy Democracy” since thousand centuries ago, have lighted up till today. Dhamma Supremacy Democracy literally means “rule of laws democracy”. In practice, Bhikkhu monks used major consensus to make decision-making upon well-adopted Vinaya or rule of laws. At least, there are three levels of “rule of laws” taught by Lord Buddha: the conventional truth or man-made rule of laws (Vinaya or disciplinary discourse), natural truth of rule of laws (Dhamma or natural truth of long discourse”, and ultimate truth or ultimate rule of laws (Abbhidhamma or ultimate truth of metaphysic discourse”. Buddha also addressed the three majority policy such as self supremacy (Atta-thepady), populace supremacy (Loka-thepady), and Dhamma supremacy (Dhamma-thepady) which he concluded that all those supremacy are beneficial by resembling within the line of “rule of laws” or Dhamma, not a single identity.

Look at Cambodia, there seems no core value of “rule of laws” have been embedded. Many civilized nations have evolved their political arguments into monarchy, republican, democrat, or conservative etc. to maximize the interest of their nations. But Cambodia has likely evolved into more self-inflicting political argument than those progressive political embeddedness. While Cambodia has adopted conventional man-made truth (rule of laws) called “Constitution” in 1993, none of the powerful leader has ever dedicated himself to build this truth for this country. As a result, the embeddedness of disarrayed citizenship has been omnipresent displayed. For instance, when two Cambodians are facing road-accident argumentation with each other, the two shall accuse each other to seek “wrong” and “right” rarely upholding principle to depend on nation-state’s rule of laws. And for the powerful leader(s), they will use “rule by laws” to accuse or punish individuals or “inferiors” at their helm to legitimize righteousness like what Khmer saying popularly coined “not kick the ball but the player”. Constitution has been born by the attempt of “critical thinking” but the Constitutional Council, the three branches of government, and the citizens in general, are running out their inner “critical thinking”. To divulge it, I wish to share original writing of “critical thinking” by Peter Facione of Santa Clara University with italic letters below:

Critical Thinking: What it is and why it counts

Peter Facione, Santa Clara University.

Critical thinking is a pervasive and purposeful human phenomenon. It is thinking that has a purpose such as proving a point, interpreting what something means or solving a problem.

Critical thinking is about how you approach problems, questions and issues. The ideal critical thinker can be characterized not merely by her or his cognitive skills but also by how she or he approaches life and living in general. 

Good critical thinkers can also be described in terms of how they approach specific issues, questions or problems. The experts state critical thinking includes:

  • clarity in stating the question or concern
  • orderliness in working with complexity
  • diligence in seeking relevant information
  • reasonableness in selecting and applying criteria
  • care in focusing attention on the concern at hand
  • persistence through difficulties are encountered
  • precision to the degree permitted by the subject and the circumstances

How does a poor critical thinker approach specific problems? 

  • disorganized and overly simplistic
  • spotty about getting the facts
  • apt to apply unreasonable criteria
  • easily distracted
  • ready to give up at the least hint of difficulty
  • intent on a solution that is more detailed than is possible, or
  • being satisfied with an overly generalized and uselessly vague response

Read More …

Posted by: | Posted on: October 12, 2014

Parents and government are an imagination but children and citizens are real

Dear Respectful Readers;
Courtesy: Mind Mapping

Courtesy: Mind Mapping

I am deeply intrigued by the leadership statement of “leadership is about to produce more leaders, not more followers”. Cambodia is in contrast by its embedded culture of vertical leadership and we are used to with ordinary political communication such as ខ្លប klob (bending down), ខ្លាច klarch (fearful), កោត kot (admiring), ក្រែង kraeng (avoiding) etc. These cultural attitudes have always converted humility into humiliatality or hostility and self-hostaged phenomena. The hunt for position and the hunger for power is an embedded belief to show off personal materialism and social praise rather than to intend for goodness and positive changes of the society. Foreign experts called our culture as “face supremacy” as power, money and fame to maintain “face” that have always overcome reasons, rationales and collective interests of the nation.

This has linked to both CPP and CNRP that both parties have been built by different political agenda but are affected by embedded culture of vertical leadership. Your observation on spending money for personal luxury cars/SUVs is nothing else but to maintain the “face” or at least to mimic the CPP of klob, klarch, kot, and kraeng. However, the level of annihilation and destruction to the nation, CPP is advanced beyond our imagination over current CNRP’s type of mimicking.
Your observation shall help CNRP put more effort to distinguish itself clearly from the other party that they have competed with. If they can achieve this they can afford more financial support and moral support from Cambodian people, if not all walks of life but at least from those professionals. In the meantime, CPP has already maintained their strong base, it is not by reasons and rationales, but by their real strength of status quo power, money, arm force, and judicial eases etc.
Hence, for the sake of the collective interest of the nation, the whole disadvantaged culture is on the alert of assertive attention for reform and change. How should we achieve that? To build up the meritocracy, pragmatism and more up-to-date cultural pattern for this nation, we should consider following indicators:
  1. As family is known for the primary social fabric of Cambodian society, government must create and safeguard the courses on parenting, child)ren protection, and domestic violence etc.
  2. As school is known for the secondary social fabric of this society, the teachers’ pedagogy must be trained in student-centered methodology, and the achievement of student mean they received their real soft skills and hard skills talent in real market and working places by adopting competency-based education system.
  3. Government that is considered very important third social factor for this society, must conduct in-dept reform of all fields to develop genuine democracy.

I think the show off you have observed on the CNRP’s leaders with those luxury cars/SUVs has impacted so much on the penny supporting from the members. Hence, it is incomparable to imagine on the 14 millions USA of national budget for 2014 year assigned as “unexpected expenditure” by the PM and other top leaders in the government. This amount is not included other unexpected revenues earned by historical rampant corruption within this top-down domino effect administration. 

Now, the parents want to see their children successful in their future cultivation with their independent talent and skills, or parents are still maintaining strong attachment to their absolute authority as parents. Parents are an analogy like the government. Parents and government are an imagination. Children and citizens are real. Let all of us discontinue, alter, and demolish this embedded imagination behavior!
Sincerely,
Sophoan
Posted by: | Posted on: November 15, 2011

CAMBODIA: Something is happening among Cambodians on which democrats can build

FOR PUBLICATION
AHRC-ETC-051-2011
November 15, 2011

An article by Dr. Gaffar Peang-Meth published by the Asian Human Rights Commission

CAMBODIA: Something is happening among Cambodians on which democrats can build

In my column in this space in August, “A look at the future of Cambodia’s youth and education,” I posited that, “If youth is the future of the country and education is a sine qua non element of a country’s development, without change in the status quo ante, Cambodia’s future will be anything but bright.” In my concluding sentence, I suggested that, “Broad-based application of Buddhist values and principles can help Cambodian society make its way to a future those on the current path may never find.”

Then last month, in my column, “Perhaps Cambodians’ soft power will advance their struggle for rights and freedom,” I noted with relief that I may have overlooked what could be a promising trend in Khmer behavior.

The 2000-year-old Khmer tradition in “smoh trang, korup, bamroeur, karpear” (“to be loyal to, to respect, to serve, to defend”) the divine leader (king) that has boxed in Cambodians’ creative thinking, has not disappeared. Rather, more Cambodians are developing self-awareness; find ease in speaking openly, even if what they say is not popular; and are demonstrating analytical, rational, and thoughtful voices in their writing.

I noted this apparent “new trend” stands opposed to the existing profane “free expression” that has polluted public discourse among Cambodians. In my September article, I referenced an e-mail from a Khmer reader, Samreth, who is disgusted at the lack of civility and rational discussion in the contemporary Cambodian environment. He suggested that in order to rebuild a respected and respectable society Khmers need “individuals with quality thoughts.” Samreth sees what is and contemplates on what ought to be.

American children who are taught in their own history of the inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness do not hesitate to fight against any threat to those inalienable rights, whether a Republican or a Democrat is in power. Why do Cambodians seem not to have the capacity to transfer the 2,000-year-old diktat of duties and responsibilities of citizens to the divine leader or god-king to ideas, ideals, principles and concepts of rights, freedom and democracy? Man dies. Ideas, ideals, principles don’t die.

Read More …

Posted by: | Posted on: January 15, 2009

Habits of Mind

Habits of Mind

Certain character traits — or habits of mind — promote critical thinking and effective decision making. Whether you are completing a social studies assignment or dealing with other challenges, these habits of mind can help you achieve success at school and in life.

What habits of mind or critical thinking you have pursued?

1. I’m an active thinker

I explore alternatives and consider their strengths and weekness

I persevere. The first — or most obvious — solution is not always the best.

I resist pressure to adopt opinions just because they are popular.

I think about how I’m thinking about an issue.

2. I am curious

I do not take everything at face value. I investigate beyond the obvious.

I take time to think about things and explore unanswered questions.

I look for various sources of information and expert opinions.

Read More …

Posted by: | Posted on: January 15, 2009

Critical Thinking

You are engaging in process of critical thinking when –in response to issue questions — you weigh evidence, analyze points of view and perspectives, and evaluate the consequences of a decision. Critical thinking requires you to make reasoned judgement about issues by considering evidence and using clear CRITERIA to guide your decisions.

An effective critical thinker:

  • consider all relevant evidence
  • develops criteria for making reasoned judgments
  • make judgments on the basis of these criteria
  • works on developing the character traits, or habits of mind that promote effective decision making

Read More …