Critical Thinking Case Study: Free Speech
The following worksheet will take you through the process of using Bloom’s taxonomy (the original) to make a decision about the issue (debate): Is Free Speech Under Attack on University Campuses? Yes or No.
NOTE: This is a learning exercise about making sense of complex issues. The information presented throughout is from various perspectives, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the course instructor or the university of Winnipeg. Your task is to use the additional information to help you make your decision at the end of this assignment.
· Watch the YouTube Video by following the link in the PPT or by clicking on: https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/920855619628
· PPT – click on the links to find additional information from various perspectives
· Please type directly on this worksheet, or copy it onto another doc format, and upload it to Nexus when it is complete
Level 1 – Knowledge:
What is the issue?
Where is this happening?
When did this take place? Is it still an issue?
Why is this an issue?
Who is involved?
Level 2 – Comprehension:
Complete the chart by looking at a few stakeholders (people/groups) who were interviewed by the reporter.
Stakeholder (Who is involved?)
Do they think free speech is under attack?
Who are they? What is their position?
Example: Prof. Jordan Peterson
Yes or No
He is a Professor from the University of Toronto. He is against the Bill C-16 because he believes it will infringe his right to free speech, because he feels it will force him to use the preferred gender pronouns.
Yes or No
Yes or No
Yes or No
Yes or No
Yes or No
Level 3 – Application:
If you could have a conversation with one of the stakeholders, who would you talk to, and what questions would you ask to help you understand their perspective better?
Example: I would ask Prof. Jordan Peterson why he wouldn’t want to call someone their preferred pronoun.
Level 4 – Analysis:
Everything you read or see has a particular lens, or a way of seeing an issue. Some people refer to that as having a “bias,” but it is more accurate to call it a perspective, because it is directly related to the interests, goals, motivations, beliefs, and values of a person or a group.
Choose one group/individual from each side of the debate
Describe their values and beliefs
Describe their mission and vision for the world
A – Free Speech is under attack
B – Free Speech is NOT under attack
The question in the documentary is: Is Free Speech under attack on University Campuses? Yes or No? Which perspective (YES or NO) is being presented by the documentary as the right one? How do you know? Explain.
ü For the following questions, you need to read at least one additional article. You can find links to additional articles on the last two slides of the Week 2 PPT and below.
ü There are many more articles about this issue online, so you may choose to find additional information on your own by doing a google search.
Additional readings for both sides of the debate:
Free Speech is NOT under attack
Free Speech IS under attack
Referencing: Since we are using non-scholarly research, I will not be overly picky about referencing for this assignment. Please refer to the author of the article in your writing by name, or the organization by title, and include the website at the end of the paragraph/page. We will discuss proper APA and MLA for the next assignment.
Level 5 – Synthesis:
Using the additional readings to help you, write 1 paragraph (1/2 page) that refutes the argument of the stakeholder you disagree with most.
Consider the following questions to help you as well as the active reading questions from the textbook:
· Why do you disagree with them?
· What did they get wrong, or leave out?
· What evidence (examples, claims, facts) do you have to prove that they are wrong?
Level 6- Evaluation:
Time to make a decision: Is free speech really under attack on University campuses? Yes or No. To evaluate an issue, you have to make connections to the world around you. So you should make a judgement by assessing the issue using criteria related to your vision of a well-ordered and humane society (from PPT), and defend your position using your own ideas and those you found in the additional articles you read. This should be about ½ page to 1 page.
Consider the following questions to help you:
· Is free speech under attack on University campuses? Yes or No? Explain.
· How does your perspective uphold your vision of a well-ordered and humane society?
· What is the cultural and political context?
· What are the moral and ethical implications?
· Why is this issue important?
What is the relationship between individual rights and rights of the larger society?
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