Tulane, which was sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation, emphasized that the liberal arts help people make critical judgments about ethical and social policies, and that this is "widely undervalued" in the U.S.  They said "highest educational priority" must be given to improving these abilities, and that "critical thinking" should be viewed as a basic skill and be defined as such by the U.S. Department of Education (Time, October 1980, p.42).

Educators and authors have become increasingly concerned in recent years about the "sudden, drastic alteration of personality that has become an American phenomenon in the past decade thread is spreading fast...among religious-cult members, today's popular self-improvement mass therapies, and even within the vast Evangelical movement."  They point out the "mind altering techniques employed by these groups tamper with the kind and quality of information fed to the brain..." which "seriously affect the brain's ability to process information and may result in impaired awareness, irrationality, disorientation, delusion, and even violently destructive acts" (Conway and Siegelman, 1979).

The current fiscal crisis in higher education also lends an urgency to the concern for developing the full mental potential of American students.  "With declining enrolments, one obvious alternative for dealing with the financial problems of an institution is to improve the quality and thereby increase its attractiveness (Freedman, 1973: Group for Human Development in Higher Education, 1974; Leslie & Miller, 1974, Shulman, 1974).


Much research has been pursued along with this endeavor:

The development of the ability to think critically has long been accepted as a desirable educational objective and a major goal of instruction.  Because of the rapid changes in America's society and the proliferation of new knowledge taking place today, individuals have a greater need for critical thinking ability than ever before in history.  In America, people are asked to make decisions concerning difficult and complex social issues and the ability to think critically is often needed to provide the best basis for making such decisions.  America's destiny may very well lie in the ability of our teachers and schools to develop students who are able to think critically.  (Skinner and Hounshell, 1972, p.555)

Perhaps Carlos de Zaftra best described the importance of critical thinking ability when he wrote in "Teaching for Critical Thinking":

For the first time in his long history, mankind has in his power the ability to fill his cornucopia or to destroy himself.  Because the rate of change has greatly accelerated and because the applications that are made of mankind's discoveries and inventions are more important than are the discoveries and inventions themselves, mankind now needs to do some critical thinking of an unprecedented quality.  The future of the human race depends upon the quality of critical thinking that is done in the world today.  (1966, p.14)

The Educational Policies Commission of the National Education Association devoted its 1961 publication, The Central Purpose of American Education to the goal of developing critical thinking abilities in students.  The importance of the ability to think critically was recognized by the E.P.C. in its statement:

The purpose which runs through and strengthens all other educational purpose--the common thread of education--is the ability to think...the development of every student's rational powers must be recognized as centrally important. (p.12)

The desirability of organizing the college general education science experiences to emphasize critical thinking ability was recognized as early as 1947 by the President's Commission on Higher Education.  One of the objectives of science in education, according to this Commission's list of major goals is:

To understand the common phenomena in one's physical environment, to apply habits of scientific thought to both personal and civic problems, and to appreciate the implication of scientific discoveries for human welfare. (p.52)


Support for the educational importance of critical thinking seems to be abundant.  In his dissertation Critical Intelligence and its Development, Jon Nordby (1977) lays the philosophical groundwork for the next consideration--"How can critical intelligence or critical thinking be taught?  A clear, detailed answer to this question is important to professional educators."

Nordby notes that philosophy professors have long had the major interest in developing critical thinking in their students.

However, the educational importance of critical intelligence goes well beyond the critical evaluation of philosophical arguments.  Educators in the social sciences, the natural sciences, the humanities, as well as in professional schools attempt to encourage the development of critical intelligence.  For example, the students are asked critically to evaluate theories, to support certain conclusions with relevant evidence, and to organize and to write critical essays and term papers.  Nor is developing critical intelligence simply confined to classroom activities.  Educators often hope that their students will evaluate sales pitches, political arguments, and proposed explanations through critical deliberation, not simply in an arbitrary, emotional manner.  (1977)

According to Nordby, educators have attempted to provide what they consider to be successful teaching methods and curricula to develop critical thinking ability, but have ignored "three obvious prior questions... The failure to address these prior questions is one reason why these attempted answers are neither sufficiently clear, nor sufficiently detailed.  The original question, therefore is really the fourth of four questions:
1. What is critical intelligence or critical thinking?
2. What is teaching?
3. Can critical intelligence or critical thinking be taught?
4. How can critical intelligence or critical thinking be taught?" (1977).



 Given the importance of critical, open-minded thinking, it seems logical that ways have been searched for to develop it by great men throughout educational history.  Rene Descartes found a settled state of mind conducive to logical reasoning, and outlined four rules for establishing the validity of observations, such as dividing difficulties into many parts, and proceeding systematically from simple to complex.

The educational curriculum in Plato's Republic had the Dialectic as its 'coping-stone' -- "the method...which takes this course, doing away with assumptions and traveling up to the first principle of all" (Cornford, 1941, p.254).  This teaching method was designed to train "philosopher-kings" by developing abstract reasoning ability, from knowledge of mere appearances to knowledge of reality.  Similarities between the goals and procedure of the Dialectic and Transcendental Meditation techniques have been noted by Shear (1981).

Maharishi International University, a fully accredited liberal arts university in Fairfield, Iowa, seeks to develop the full potential of its students by including the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhis program in its curriculum.  "The TM technique is a simple, natural, effortless procedur efor contacting the field of pure creative intelligence.  It is practiced twice daily for about twenty minutes while sitting comfortably with closed eyes" (MIU Catalogue, 1981).  Research studies at the International Center for Scientific Research (ICSR) on MIU students indicate that the state of "restful alertness" during TM corresponds to a high degree of orderliness of interhemispheric brain wave



activity, as measure by the electroencephalograph (EEG).  Numerous research studies on practitioners of the TM program indicate that culturing "transcendental consciousness" progressively improves creativity, intelligence, personality qualities, health, and general awareness (Orme-Johnson & Farrow, 1977).  EEG coherence in MIU students was found to correlate positively with measures such as SAT scores, IQ, and Hoffman reflex recovery (MIU Catalogue, 1981).

The problem to be investigated in this study is to determine if a statistically significant correlation exists between orderliness of the electrical activity of the cerebral hemispheres, critical thinking ability, and open-mindedness in students practicing the TM program.

The orderliness of the electrical activity of the brain will be operationally defined as the measure of EEG alpha and theta brain wave phase coherence, frontal, left, right, and occipital.  The instrument used will be the EEG unit a the International Center for Scientific Research at MIU.

Critical, or logical thinking ability will be defined as "thinking that proceeds on the basis of careful evaluation of premises and evidence, and comes to conclusions as objectively as possible through the consideration of all pertinent factors and the use of valid procedures from logic" (Dictionary of Education).  Critical thinking will be quantitatively defined as the score on the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal, Form YM.



Open-mindedness shall be operationally defined as the opposite of closed or dogmatic thinking. Dogmatism will be defined as "1) positiveness in asserting an opinion, tenet, or belief as though it were established beyond question. 2) a philosophy or system of beliefs that assumes its fundamental postulates uncritica1ly” (Dictionary of Education).  Open-mindedness will be quantitatively defined as low scores on the Rokeach Adult Dogmatism Scale, Form E.

The Transcendental Meditation and TM—Sidhi program may be defined in two parts. The basic TM technique is the simple, natural, effortless mental procedure designed to unfold the full potential of the mind, body, and behavior, brought to the west by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1958.

The technique of transcendental meditation is defined as a way of allowing the attention to go from the gross, surface level of ordinary thought to increasingly subtle levels, until finally the subtlest level is reached and then transcended. (Forem, p.27)

The TM-Sidhi program, brought out by Maharishi in 1976, is designed to accelerate the benefits of the TM technique, by culturing the mind to act from the subtlest, least excited state of consciousness.

The study of the TM—Sidhi program presents an apparent contradiction to logic. The TM-Sidhi program is a practical aspect of the Science of Creative Intelligence (SCI), the systematic study of the development of consciousness to its full potential. SCI is easily integrated with the study of logic, according to the MIU philosophy course "SCI and Logic' -- "Development of consciousness and correct employment of logical

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