What Does it Mean to Orient Oneself in Thinking?
Koeddermann, Achim D.
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“Orientation” is the perennial task of any university or college education. Without providing tools of orientation, the university fails. The American university follows the tutorial concept of Oxford as paradigm. Large undergraduate classes from Harvard to Oneonta seem to undercut the concept of such personalized forms of orientation. However, modern society needs the educational ideal as formulated by Immanuel Kant: "Enlightenment" as escape from media- or "self inflicted tutelage"(WA). The SUNY Board of Trustees, in adopting the resolution requiring assessment of student information management and critical thinking skills, seems to aspire to Kant’s ideal. The place of reference for orientation logically remains the library, physically or virtually. With guiding help, critical readers are able to orient themselves and others by referring to relevant sources without blindly following opinions.