Promoting Critical Thinking in Professional Military Education
AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLL MAXWELL AFB AL
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Critical thinking CT is important to professional military education PME because it provides a powerful tool to operate in a complex, changing world. Unfortunately, the teaching of such skills has been woefully ignored in American education. This paper examines common elements of successful nation-wide CT programs to develop a simple academic assessment checklist. The checklist is used to assesses the CT curriculum of the United States Air Forces Air Command and Staff College ACSC-a PME program for mid-level officers. The Air Forces ACSC CT curriculum has made great strides in improving the cognitive skills of its student body but is still in its infancy. Assessment of the schools program showed that, while some skills and behaviors are taught, the list is far from complete when compared to other nation-wide programs. Furthermore, CT standards, testing, and faculty development efforts are still incomplete.