Picture of Ken Max Hamano
Week 1 Assignment
by Ken Max Hamano - Sunday, January 27, 2019, 10:42 AM

Hello, my name is Ken.

I am just a regular guy, not a teacher or scholar or anything.  I somehow stumbled upon the subject of Critical Thinking through a TED Talk, or something like that.  I became fascinated with the concept,  and simply want to learn as much as I can about it. The more I read the class materials, the more excited I became.

I took a class in ethics at USC, and the concepts stayed with me ever since. But over the years, I, like so many, was fooled and misled by the media, big corporations, religion, and government.  I'm looking for another way, another path.  It looks like this class can help me get there!

I've read all of your posts, and am impressed by all of you. I look forward to learning from you all and learning together with you all!


Picture of Ruben Figeuroa
Re: Week 1 Assignment
by Ruben Figeuroa - Monday, January 28, 2019, 7:03 PM

Hi Ken,

My name is Ruben Figueroa and I'm a dentist with a specialty in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.  Most of my professional career has been in dental education at the pre and post doctoral level.  I have always been fascinated with solving problems. The process of finding the "WHY" of things.  How can I motivate my students/residents to learn more than facts and numbers. If I can motivate  my students to enjoy the learning process and realize that they are in charge of their learning and that my role is to guide them in that process, I would feel that I have accomplished my mission.

I'm looking forward to this course and the interaction with other students. This is the first time that I take an online course. So will see how this old man does.


Picture of Ken Max Hamano
Re: Week 1 Assignment - addendum
by Ken Max Hamano - Sunday, February 3, 2019, 1:32 PM

Sorry everybody, I'm adding to my Week 1 Assignment!

a. Write a brief paragraph answering the question, 'What is critical thinking?'

To me, critical thinking is thinking like a Vulcan, without prejudice, without emotion, using pure logic.  You have to be as objective as possible.  It is vital to consider the source of your information, and base you decisions on facts.  


b. Write a brief paragraph answering the question, 'How is the concept of critical thinking presented in this week’s material different from conceptions of critical thinking that you have previously encountered?'

I’m completely new to Critical Thinking, so from what little I’ve read or seen on You-Tube, there are three components that are different: Fair-mindedness, Sophism, and importance of constant improvement.  We all know about successful evil doers.  Wall Street, politics, and the history books are full of them.  I just was unaware, that there was a term for them: sophists.  I like the ideology of fair-mindedness, because I believe that Altruism doesn’t always work.  And I was pleasantly surprised that improvement was so important that it is included in the definition.


c. Complete and post 'Think for Yourself Activity 1.4.'


Think for Yourself: 1.4

Critique Your Thinking


Consider your thinking in these domains of your life: at work, in personal relationships, in sports, in dealing with others of your gender, in dealing with the opposite sex, as a reader, as a writer, in planning your life, in dealing with your emotions, in figuring out complex situations.  Complete these statements:


Right now, I believe my thinking across all domains of my life is of  average quality.  I based this judgment on _the fact that I’m not rich and famous.  That there’s so much I haven’t accomplished.  And that I know that I haven’t learned enough about learning and thinking.


  • In the following areas, I think very well:

      a) personal relationships

      b) art appreciation

      c) learning about cars and racing

  • In the following areas, my thinking is OK, not great, but not terrible either:

      a) work

      b) comedy writing, sketch performance, and improv comedy

      c) food and wine appreciation

  • In the following areas, my thinking is probably of low quality:

      a) business

      b) religion

      c) forming opinions on current events



d. When you post your first assignment, tell us a little about yourself: your name, title, school or professional affiliation, your motivation for taking this course, and what you hope to learn in it. We want to be on a first-name basis throughout the course.