Stop! Do not read this!
The unexamined life is not worth living”
Socrates according to “Apology of Socrates” by Plato

Source: https://unimenta.com/critical-thinking/

The ability to think is universal to all human beings. When thinking, we engage in biased, distorted, partial, uninformed or prejudice thoughts, most of the time, unless we make use of critical thinking. Critical thinking is the ability to think about any theme by improving the quality of thoughts, through a self-guided, self-disciplined thinking which tries to reason from a fair point of view (Source: The Foundation for Critical Thinking). The critical thinker asks important, clear and precise questions, gathers important information backed up by facts and/or science, has an open mind and understands different points of view, challenge one’s own assumptions and communicate effectively with others while coming to solutions to complex problems (Paul & Elder, 2008).
In this task, you will go through an article from Europeana and discover the amazing story of banned books! In small groups of 2/3 people, you will pick an author and research about him/her to discover why his/her books were banned. Then, as a group, you will write a list of arguments defending and opposing the banning of the books. Two groups at a time will debate about pros and cons of banning certain books and try to reach a consensus about the existence or not of books that should be banned and why.


Step 1
Watch this video about the definition of critical thinking.

Step 2.    
Form small groups of 2/3 people and read this article about banned authors in history. 

Step 3.    
Choose an author and research about him/her. You can research the author in Europeana, Google or in your local library.  Try to answer the questions: Who was this author?  Why was this author’s work banned? What was the historic context for this to happen?

Step 4.
Write a list of reasons for the prohibition of the author books. 

Step 5.    
Think about more reasons for a book to be banned and reasons why books should not be banned.
Create a Pros and Cons list with all the ideas you gathered.

Step 6.    
On person in each group will impersonate the author chosen, and the other people in the group will be his/her supporters. Roleplay to the other groups defending the right no to be banned. The other groups must argue in favour of the banning.                                                                                

Step 7.    
Now as a whole group, discuss if there are good reasons for a book to be banned or not.

Step 8.    
Want to spread the debate? Go to Debate.org or ProCon.org and ask others what they think about your conclusions!

Photos source: http://blog.europeana.eu/2018/09/banned-authors/
Evaluation and Learning Outcomes
On the completion of this webquest, the learner will be able to:

Knowledge Skills Attitudes
· Basic knowledge on  critical thinking definition
· Fundamental knowledge of information
search tools
· Basic knowledge of debate techniques
· Fundamental knowledge of teamwork
rules and procedures
· Make use of verbal communication to convey
opinions when debating with people with different views
· Give arguments in favour and against banning a book
· Research, gather and organize information about an author
· Communicate an idea by means of a debate or a role play
· Demonstrate critical sense in analysing a situation that is presented
· Demonstrate autonomy and responsibility in the execution of tasks
· Contribute to achieving the team’s goal
resized/uploaded---tiny---images---leirasokba/800/800/isq-criticalthinking-conclusionfrom-addedfromunsplash.jpgThrough this webquest you experienced the consequences of the lack of critical thinking by impersonating an author who others though should be banned. Be mindful to use critical thinking in your everyday life as critical thinking is an essential competence, transversal to all sphere of life and can be learned if you practice it every day. Go deeper in the subjects and research about them in order to get precious insight about the big picture.

“The work is… to re-examine evidence and assumptions, to shake up habitual ways of working and thinking to dissipate conventional familiarities, to re-evaluate rules and institutions and to participate in the formation of a political will!”
Michel Foucault
Useful links

Taken from Richard Paul and Linda Elder, The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools, Foundation for Critical Thinking Press, 2008