The Skill of Critical Thinking


In a Project Based Learning class, sources from all sorts of options are open to students, and the most important skill the student is to judge and criticizes the rigidity of the sources and relate them to other sources. Having the skill set of criticizing is crucial to the Underground Rail Road project we are doing this year since we are already gathering multiple storylines within different stories. Therefore, in order to having them all presented clearly in a presentation, the priority for us is to judge the rigidity of our sources.

Currently, there are a few versions of Flora’s story, which no one knows which the truth is and which is not. However, there is an attitude and skill we need to focus on to be able to identify the correct information to present at the end. Obviously, only by looking at the sources and thinks peopletyped some words wrong would not be convincing enough to the public. It is possible to do better with a criticizing skill. We shall doubt every difference between the stories and some of the dramatic stories in the sources, because they could be the part that people made up to make the story more dramatic. Yet, with the skill set presented, the next step we shall do is searching for related stories at the same time period in similar close areas. For example, any slave returning issue at the same time period as Flora would help to verify the rigidity of the sources we found so far.

From the two sources I found, there are acts and events that taken place in 1840 that shows different decisions from courts that give us sense of how events turned out during that time. We will have a general direction of how Flora’s story could lead to; jtherefore make a more reasonable and educational guess on the truth. The articulate presents the important events happened from 1840 to 1860. With new territory coming to the US, people were having another extensive conversation of the new born state’s belongings – free or slave states? This problem became sharper after 1820 as Missouri joined the US as a slave state to balance the number of free states in the US. The Fugitive Slave Act was revised and reinforced in the same year, 1850, putting on heavier penalties on people who concealed escaped slaves and putting more difficult times on the Underground Rail Road. On top of that, the south complained that the Fugitive Slave Act was not enforced enough at the time and the free states sent African Americans that are loyal to the Union even during the civil war.

With all these information and history, we would think the direction of Flora being poorly treated on the court and the people who fought for her freedom might have lost. We shall come up with an idea of her being captured and sent back and therefore elimate or put the contradicting information of them being saved as secondary to put in our presentation.



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6 thoughts on “The Skill of Critical Thinking

  1. hykshannon

    Good organization skills to follow along, I see the direction we should go as a class. How are you certain that Flora was being captured since there are other sources arguing she might not be actually kidnapped? I think adding more information on the laws and acts would be better for our understanding.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. cxcoco

    I agree with Shannon that the blog post’s organization is really clear and make the context straightforward. You used the phrase “reasonable guess”, which i think it should be a more precise and certain conclusion rather than a guess in this research. I think finding more related evidence to support our argument will make our research more authentic.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. vicky19970601

    Great organization and clear flow about our project. What do you think the revised Fugitive Slave Act will change those slave’s life?


  4. barrett914

    I like how you incorporate the huge variety of research sources. “Sources from all sorts of options are open to students, and the most important skill the student is to judge and criticizes the rigidity of the sources and relate them to other sources.” By using every type of source we can draw lots of different perspective and hopefully uncover new information to help our study.


  5. 16jk

    Good point that students need to judge and criticize the reliability of sources.
    What are the names of two sources?
    I think is it will be better if we take close look on various types of sources and compare to others.



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