School for Critical Thinking

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Autor 13.10.2017. u 12:29

School for Critical Thinking

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EUR – IBAN: BA393381304821254154
SWIFT: UNCRBA 22
BAM – UniCredit Bank: 3381302221253738

Founder: Center for Critical Thinking in Mostar (CCM)

During the ten-year work of the Center for Critical Thinking (CCM), in cooperation with the web portal Tacno.net, we have organized several hundred forums discussing the most important topics of post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina, such as the culture of collective memory, facing the war crimes, large-scale corruption through privatization, the issue of young people emigrating from BiH, and of those young people who remain in the country accepting narratives of ruling ethno-nationalisms. Along with the regular activities organized at the CCM, so far we have done almost a hundred book promotions, both for those published under our sponsorship and also issued by other publishing houses.

CCM insists on a permanent return to ethics and morality as the basis of humanity and peaceful coexistence, values that we especially promote in this time of post-war ethnic conflict in former Yugoslavia. We at CCM believe that all problems within BiH society are a result of the lack of a tradition of critical thinking which must be built into the foundation of our modern society.Moral agony and terrible crimes committed toward innocent people at the end of the twentieth century in our former country are a direct consequence of the inability of the political elite and its misguided citizens to think rationally and to resist the destructive speech of political leaders who displayed their own personal ambitions and divisive party interests.

Prompted by the current socio-political crisis in BiH and former Yugoslavia, members of the CCT and contributors of Tacno.net have an intention to open the School of Critical Thinking (SCT) in Mostar.

The goal of the project is to change the paradigm of education that teaches young people to follow ideologies and to show them the essence of Western civilization which is based on Hegel’s thought that critical thinking is fundamental element of education. Unfortunately, there are still too many people who are subject to false narratives of ethno-nationalism in our society. In other words, the lack of critical thinking is directly related to social and political problems in BiH and the rest of former Yugoslavia.

Critical thinking implies raising awareness, logical questioning and reexamining the social environment in which individuals live. That is, critical thinking is about relativization and questioning of imposed ideas and established social norms which remain unchanged in our society for a very long time.

The fundamentals of the “Critical Thinking School”  will be based on the following five principles:

  • Self-evaluation and detection of false assumptions, resistance to the influence of the authority, recognition of stereotypes and clichés of ideologically charged discourse, recognition of prejudices and emotional factors, distinction between facts and beliefs, understanding the logic and psychology of political propaganda;
  • Critical evaluation of facts involves the identification of important decisions, the distinction between essential and nonessential parts of content, identification of problems, examination of ideas in light of new standards (democracy vs. ethnocracy), interpretation of facts, the search for tacit, untold textual assumptions, discourse, the search for adequate criteria for solutions to problems, choosing the best resolution;
  • Applying a method of logical reasoning that includes syllogistic reasoning, critical interpretation of reasoning, detection of absurd elements in certain situations, detection of logical relations between propositions, formulation and evaluation of conclusions;
  • Critical reevaluation of all forms of opinion;
  • Critical attitude towards the dominant way of thinking and search for facts, abstention from premature unfounded conclusions, conscientiousness and fact-checking, prudence in interpreting facts, skepticism and constant reevaluation of assumptions and conclusions.

The importance of this school is not merely based only on in-depth study and knowledge that will be transferred to its participants; it counts on some of the most prominent intellectuals in our former country and abroad. Some of them are: Esad Bajtal, Nerzuk Ćurak, Fr. Drago Bojić, Fr. Ivan Šarčević, Dino Pobrić, Dino Mustafić, Viktor Ivančić, Boris Dežulović, Predrag Lucić, Oliver Frljić, Dragan Markovina, Tomislav Jakić, Boris Buden, Snježana Kordić and others. These are the exceptional individuals who bravely follow the logic of rational resistance to divisive political discourses in our society. Moreover, they are a well-known intellectual minority whose public nonconformity serves as a driving force for constant social improvement of ordinary citizens.

In the existing education system in BiH, the principle of authority is manifested, and due to the neglect of the critical inquiry, numerous myths are implanting mostly through the teaching of language and literature and history. The consequence is to grow generation with conviction that neighboring people should be seen as an enemy who jeopardize culture, language and historical heritage. In order to offer a correction for this harmful and dangerous production of hostility, “School of critical thinking” will cover the following topics:

  • Language in the service of the nationalism
  • The myth about purifying language and people
  • The role of the scientific community: enlighten or blur
  • Restructuring the history (linguistic, cultural, general)
  • Identity, culture, nation.

Having in mind that in the last quarter of the century, due to a number of circumstances, and primarily because of the dominant ideology of nationalism, the values of the antifascist struggle have been completely marginalized and minimized from school curricula, there is a real need to study and revitalize these values in the context of modern society. More importantly, the ideas of neo-Fascism are increasingly erupting throughout the European space, as well as in BiH, and, due to the absence of serious resistance, are becoming more and more accepted in society. Therefore, one of the more important studies within the “Critical Thinking School” will be the study of “Antifascism” which will contribute to the importance of the development of the school.

The topics to be covered in the study are:

  • The rise of fascism in Europe and its fundamental features
  • Society and politics in relation to fascism
  • Anti-fascist struggle in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Yugoslavia
  • Anti-fascist movement and women’s rights
  • Rise of the neo-Fascist far right in Europe, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region
  • The role of the media
  • Historical revisionism in Europe and in Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Human rights and dealing with the past
  • Contemporary politics and anti-fascism
  • Anti-fascism Today: New Resistance Practices

The primary target group of the “Critical Thinking School” is young people between 17 – 30 years of age, typically: 3-4 grade high school students, undergraduate and postgraduate students, and also unemployed young people in the area of ​​the city of Mostar.

In addition to above mentioned programs, each school year will bring new programs and new topics which will be processed. In the first stage of the project elaboration the general program of critical thinking will be introduced; further program on developing democracy in BiH and its survival; languages and nationalism; school of anti-fascism; programs of international global relations and its impact on Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as many others.

In addition, The School of Critical Thinking will be open for all interested people and free of all costs for its users, where they will be able to access more than a thousand books of all genres: fiction, psychology, natural sciences, history, and many others. The library will also have multimedia equipment so our users will be able to access digital libraries around the world.

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Autor 13.10.2017. u 12:29

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