Last Wednesday, the Year 12 cohort was fortunate to have the opportunity of watching and engaging in a presentation by Major Simon Boxsell. Over the hour, we discussed many topics including the meaning of Anzac Day and how to critically analyse controversial points.
The first question posed to the floor, was “What is critical thinking?”. Following the cohort’s collective understanding of our core concept, we were next challenged to think of groups in society, that do not show critical thinking.
This surmounted in an open dialogued environment where the media, lawyers and other groups within society where picked apart for their practicing of this intellectual art. This also helped us to establish some basic principles of thinking as well as questions to ask ourselves when presented with information. The importance of these skills have never been more prominent than in our age of disinformation and corporatized media.
Towards the end of the session, Major Boxsell encouraged us to use our newfound skills in ‘critical thinking’ from the first part of the session to thoroughly analyse and discuss what the true meaning, value and importance of ANZAC Day to us.
Although the year level proposed various opinions on different provided topics such as ‘Do you think the Gallipoli Campaign is an integral part of Australian culture?’ and ‘was the $300 million spent on the ANZAC centenary worth it?’ it would be safe to say that there was a mutual respect and agreeance with the various opinions. Although one may have chosen to ‘agree’, they may have been quickly persuaded to the ‘disagree’ part of the argument due to something they didn’t think of.
Rather than the Major telling us the meaning, he led the session in such a way that helped us draw conclusions on our own and worked towards solidifying our own beliefs, while also being open to opposing opinions. This was truly an invaluable session and it would be safe to say that the entire grade gained something from it.
On behalf of the Class of 2017, I would like to thank Major Simon Boxsell for his time. We greatly appreciate the experience and we learnt a new way to approach topical debates.
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