Critical Thinking or Just Critical?: Reintroducing Humility to the Literature Classroom

Heidi Oberholtzer Lee


In this essay Heidi Oberholtzer Lee argues that we need to teach and model in our classrooms the importance of reading with humility. This serves as a corrective to the promotion of reading strategies that primarily emphasize negativity and scorn, strategies that have been popularized by misapplications of Paul Ricoeur’s “hermeneutic of suspicion.” More helpful to developing in students habits of critical thinking would be reading practices that teach them to approach a text interrogatively, engaging in dialogue with the text itself, its author, and its readers both in and outside the classroom. Ms. Lee is Assistant Professor of English at Messiah College.


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Last Updated: July 14, 2010
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