About Me

My name is Vandana Goswami and I live in Bangalore, India.  I am a person who wears many hats --- a teacher, trainer, anthropologist, sociologist, advocate of thinking skills. Tying all these various hats together is the last one.

Though I call myself an educational professional and have taught for more than 25 years, I did not start as a teacher. I have a PhD from Michigan State University, and two MA degrees --- one from Michigan State, and one from India --- all in anthropology. Then I got into teaching, and gradually realized that I have found my purpose in life. I discovered that I love to teach. The joy that I get from teaching is perhaps augmented by the fact that my students constantly tell me that they enjoy my classes. Student after student, year after year, have told me that what they liked most about my classes was that I made them think.

Though thinking is something that is innate in all humans, systematic thinking, which is what Critical Thinking is all about, is a skill that can be taught.  Over the last few years, I have developed my own ideas about Critical Thinking.  My conceptualization of Critical Thinking goes way beyond an academic skill --- it is a life skill, needed in every sphere of life.  We need these skills to navigate through life as a parent, in-law, spouse, employee, boss, colleague, student, teacher ... the list goes on. The basis of my version of Critical Thinking is human interaction, and looking at the world from another person’s perspective.

Being an anthropologist, I have spent a lifetime studying and teaching about human behavior.  My ideas are therefore heavily influenced by my people knowledge, which in turn have come out of my understanding of social theory and practical everyday actions that human beings are constantly engaged in.  Today I travel the country doing workshops on Critical Thinking that help us understand and interact with our world better. Besides helping students inculcate these skills in their academics as well as work with teachers on how to teach these skills, I do workshops for lay people, professionals and others on how to use critical thinking in their professional and personal lives.  This blog brings a lot of my ideas into the wider world.

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