Promoting Critical Thinking

The Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) will utilize the University’s Ideas to Action (i2a) critical thinking model in all aspects of its work. i2a is the university’s quality enhancement plan (QEP) designed to transform student learning and teach critical thinking across all academic and administrative areas.

BIRT's focus is to foster the “critical society” (or campus environment) described in the i2a theoretical model, where open-mindedness is systematically encouraged, people are discouraged from uncritically accepting the thinking or behavior of others, and a multi-cultural world view is fostered. (Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools, p. 23)

The team will utilize the concept of fair-minded thinking through training, multimedia campaigns, and partnerships. The team will address hateful and biased speech (even when lawful and protected) by asking, “How do harmful words affect a person's identity, self-esteem and ability to complete their academic and life goals?” and then engage others in a proactive response to hate and bias by asking, “What positive ways can we affirm others?”