Episode 69: The SQUARED Method of Critical Thinking – Summarizing

“Summarize” means to say the same thing in fewer words. Many students don’t know how to do this. In this first episode of our Critical Thinking series, Adam and Dinur go over how summarizing works.

Show Notes

Paragraph from our shared chapter: 

In the spring of 2020, the academic world was shaken to its foundations by the rapid changes demanded by the appearance of COVID-19. Historically, higher education has changed slowly and incrementally, usually due to external pressure such as new laws or regulations. Higher education’s institutions are structured as bureaucracies, and the known inability of bureaucracies to make rapid change, we argue, is in many cases exacerbated by the culture and mindset bureaucracies create for the actors that work within them – what we here call bureaucraticity. We will show that this culture and mindset rest on the idea that bureaucracy creates safety, predictability, and stability, and should be protected and preserved. Bureaucraticity, or the culture of the bureaucratic mindset, created many additional roadblocks to the quick pivot needed when COVID-19 became a reality.

The summary:

In spring 2020, COVID-19 caused rapid changes to academia. Change in higher education is historically slow, and only as a reaction to outside pressures. The bureaucratic culture, or bureaucraticity, is one of the main reasons higher education has trouble with rapid change. Bureaucraticity rests on bureaucracy creating stability. It created problems when quick change was required due to COVID-19.

Paragraph from Dinur’s book:

Student-athletes receive explicit and implicit messages about the importance of school from their families, friends, coaches, teammates and various academic personnel on campus. Messages from family, coaches, and advisors explicitly and overwhelmingly preach academic effort leading to success, while implicit messages from coaches may include implied focus on football and basketball at power-five schools, but also include the threat of sport-related punishment for under-performance in the classroom regardless of school. These punishments include early practices or extra running before practice, assigning extra study-hall hours until grades are raised, reducing playing time for missed practices, or potentially either awarding or removing a scholarship, depending on both athletic and academic achievement.

The summary:

Student-athletes are told to prioritize school from people they care about. They emphasize academic effort as a path to success. However, coaches at some schools imply the sport is more important, and many coaches threaten sport-related punishment due to low grades, including extra practice, extra study hall, or removal of scholarships.

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