The University of Louisville's Ideas to Action (i2a) initiative promotes critical thinking skills among students; in other words, the university is seeking to teach students how to think rather than what to think. According to a recent press release, the university "has chosen for its Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) to focus on improving the critical thinking skills of undergraduate students and to more effectively prepare them to contribute to society. The focus of this initiative will be to foster critical thinking as a habit of mind. Our goal is to provide an education that is centered on a student's ability to bring together skills and knowledge from a variety of disciplines to solve complex problems. This plan acknowledges that the development and application of critical thinking is an 'intellectually disciplined process' rather than one that occurs by chance or happenstance."
Wayside Christian Mission is partnering with the University of Louisville in promoting the i2a initiative. Recently, Rev. Tim Moseley, case manager Mark Miller, and Chaplain Michael Blunk attended an i2a forum as guests of the university's Dr. Edna Ross. Dr. Ross has been a tireless Wayside Christian Mission supporter whose ideas and efforts have been instrumental in the bringing of critical thinking techniques and applications to the mission's resident clients.
After the forum, Executive Director Patty Payette, Ph.D., sent the following email to Rev. Moseley: "Thank you very much for taking your time and energy to come to our i2a Task Group meeting yesterday to share your experiences and inspiring work with faculty, students and your clients and staff. The projects that you are guiding to fruition—and supporting our faculty, staff and students in doing—are a perfect blend of the i2a commitment to critical thinking and to community engagement.
"I'm especially grateful with how you yourselves have embraced the framework and the potential of critical thinking (and technology) to serve your mission. Your work is truly a national model for innovations on a number of fronts. I am also grateful for Edna's guidance and energy that have been the bridge to bringing this all together. I'd like to see your work highlighted on the i2a homepage and the Alumni magazine and I hope Edna can work with me to make this happen.
"I love seeing the videos—keep them coming ! They are an amazing blend of humor, engagement, critical thinking concepts and everyday application! So impressive. Again, thank you for your ongoing commitment to working with us in service to your mission in our community! I'm so pleased to be able to call you i2a innovators."
Irrational thinking leads to irrational behavior. Many of the women and men in our care are with us because of poor decisions based upon faulty reasoning. By teaching our resident clients how to think rationally and logically, we can enhance their future prospects for happier, more productive lives. Wayside Christian Mission and the University of Louisville are mutual partners in the eradication of ignorance and want.