Critical Thinking

Use diverse perspectives to challenge the status quo and navigate the great social issues of our time.

by Knology
Sep 22, 2022

Knology takes a transdisciplinary approach to tackling today’s complex problems, drawing on perspectives from myriad academic disciplines and using them to craft smart, evidence-based solutions. In 2021, we applied our critical thinking skills to a number of urgent social issues. Three of our highlights from 2021 include:

Promoting Cultures of STEM Learning

2021 marked the fourth year of our work on the “Discover SCIENCE with Dr. Bear” project. Initiated by the Children’s National Medical Center with support from the National Institutes of Health, Discover SCIENCE builds up children’s scientific reasoning skills through hands-on, art-focused teaching on topics such as asthma, obesity, stress, genetic diseases, and COVID-19. Our analysis showed that the project is stimulating critical thinking about the impact of individual behaviors, social structures, and the broader environment on health outcomes.

Stats Sweep: Change over Time

As part of the NSF-funded “Meaningful Math” project Knology is jointly pursuing with PBS NewsHour, we published the results of an investigation into media reporting on crime polls. Based on an analysis of graphics featured during a CNN “Cuomo Prime Time” broadcast, our research showed journalists and media organizations how to more effectively visualize data.

Going Beyond Attitudes in Antiracism Programs

In recent years, a growing number of organizations have launched initiatives designed to foster diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI). The goal of these initiatives is often to get people to recognize and overcome their implicit biases, the assumption being that personal behavioral change can help reduce rates of racial and ethnic discrimination. Though certainly true, our research showed that antiracism programs focusing solely on individual beliefs and attitudes are unlikely to be successful, as they neglect the cultural and institutional factors that reinforce implicit bias. If organizations want to build compassion across lines of race and ethnicity, they will need to think critically about the environmental dimensions of DEAI.

Photo credit: Van Tay Media on Unsplash

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