Elements of Critical Thinking

1. Review the Elements of Critical Thinking (found under the Modules tab, posted below at the end of this assignment)
2. Read the Case Study below, and answer the questions that follow.
2. Complete the assignment by typing directly in the space provided or simply cut/paste from a WORD document.
Case Study (Read this Case Study and answer the questions that follow).


Tammy is seriously involved with her church, so when it is announced that the congregation will be throwing her a graduation and going away part, it is not much of a surprise to her or her family. Tammy is the first in her family to go to college and also one of the only people in her small town’s church to ever go. She won a scholarship to Florida Gulf Coast University to major in Sociology and Social Work. Tammy is so excited about going, and is quick to remind family and friends that she’s going for a great educational experience in no other place than Dunk City! Her dream is to return home, become a social worker, and start a youth religion center in her community.
In late August, Tammy arrives on campus and begins the difficult task of moving into the residence hall, meeting her roommates, attending orientation, registering for classes, and trying to forget that she is so homesick that she has been fighting back tears for hours. ‘I’m not going to give up,” she says to herself. “There is too much riding on this.”
After classes start, Tammy begins to feel more at home and more at ease being several hundred miles away from everything she knows and loves. She meets several acquaintances through the Organization of Student Social Workers, The Sociology Club, and the Campus Connection, a religious club. Things are finally going well.
Tammy registers for five classes: English 101, History 110, Biology 101, Cultural Anthropology 101, and Religious Studies 112. The classes are challenging, but Tammy is pulling an A or B in every class except Religious Studies. It is disheartening to her that she is not doing well in a class that is so close to her heart and nature. The class has been hard since the first day.
“My name is Dr. Walter Campbell”, the professor says on the first day. “This is Religious Studies, and you are here to learn how to think for yourself, how to debunk the myths of the Bible, how to critically examine your beliefs, and how to find critical essays on religion in the library.” Everyone is very quite. “We are not here for church. I am not your preacher. I am not your counselor. I say to you that by the end of this semester, you will have reevaluated everything you think you know about God, Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, and yourself.” Tammy feels her heart pounding in her chest, almost choking her. Dr. Campbell gives out the syllabus, details the work that will be done, and dismisses the class. Tammy and some of her classmates are breathless as they leave.
As the semester progresses, the content of the course becomes harder and Dr. Campbell more illogical, in Tammy’s mind. If a student makes a comment about religion or the Bible, Dr. Campbell yells, “Prove it!” or “Says who?” or “That’s about as untrue as a politician on election day.” There seems to be no pleasing him. Tammy and 80 percent of the class fail the first test. She is lost in a world that has given her so much pleasure in the past.
Biology is going better, but the professor requires that every student purchase “On the Origin of Species” by Charles Darwin. The professor, Dr. Margie Vanier, pushes the concept that living things did not come from God’s special creation but, rather, evolved out of earlier forms that lived at an earlier time, hence the Theory of Evolution. Tammy’s minister back home often speaks of evolution and calls it “man’s attempt to scientifically explain faith.” Until this class, Tammy has never read about evolution and has certainly never heard anyone in person discount the Bible’s theory of creation. Tammy grows more confused by the moment.
Cultural Anthropology is an interesting class, and the professor is a non-confrontational, easygoing young man from Australia. While interesting, Anthropology also poses a “threat” to some of Tammy’s firmly planted beliefs. It seems as if there is no place to turn without controversy and a feeling of walking on eggshells. There are days when all she wants is to call home and tell her mother to come and get her. But she knows in her heart that she is meant for more.
Socially, Tammy has made several new friends through classes and clubs. They often gather in one another’s rooms for pizza, conversation, and studying. It is at one of the pizza study sessions that Tammy takes the first drink of her life. Her friends have brought beer to the room, and everyone seems to be having such a good time. Before she realizes it, she is dizzy and laughing with delight. This will not be the last time that Tammy takes a drink. It becomes a regular event on Thursday evenings.
As the semester progresses, Tammy feels more and more as if she is “at home.” She actually looks forward to going to Dr. Campbell’s Religious Studies class. She is even shocked by the fact that she finds him to be an interesting man with an interesting perspective. Still, she is not doing that well on the assigned papers, but her grades have improved. Dr. Vanier’s lectures on evolution are difficult to comprehend, but rationally, Sharli begins to understand the concept. Her close circle of friends grows, and she begins to go out and party with them more frequently. Life is good except for one thing. Tammy cannot shake a feeling of overwhelming, crushing guilt.
She believes that she is at FGCU to learn more about the world and religion and people and cultures and traditions, but she is not prepared for all of the things that are coming her way. In her mind, she begins to seriously wonder if her small town’s religious training has been in error and if her minister is correct about his teachings. This scares her right down to the core. She wonders if evolution is more logical than creation. It there really a God who made us all?” she wonders. “Are there really people on earth who will never accept God as a divine entity?”
She is drinking every week, sometimes two or three times a week, and she is going to places she knows her mama would not approve of. The guilt is almost paralyzing. Tammy is having the time of her life, but she feels as if she is abandoning and betraying her past. She is confused and scared. Her entire value system has been rattled. She is seriously considering transferring to the community college near her home. “Maybe things will be easier there,” she thinks. “Maybe I will not be so confused and guilty.” In her mind she knows that if she goes home, she could return to her church on Sundays.
There is only one person to whom she can talk. Tammy sits on the edge of her bed and dials the phone. “Hi, Mama, this is Tammy.”

(This case Study is adapted from “Case Studies for the First Year: An Odyssey Into Critical Thinking and Problem Solving’ by Robert Sherfield, Rhonda Montgomery & Patricia Moody; Prentice Hall, 2004)

Answer the folowing Questions (in complete sentences)

1. What are the facts about the case?
2. What are some logical assumptions you can make about the case?
3. What is the root problem involved in the case as you see it?
4. What are the causes of the root problem?
5. What is (are) the solution(s) to the problem?
6. Are there any moral and/or ethical considerations to your solution?
7. What are the consequences of your solution?
8. How will the lives of the people in the case study be changed because of your proposed solution?
9. Where are some areas on campus that one could get help with problems associated with this case?
10. Where are some areas beyond the campus that one could get help with the problem associ
ated with this case?
11. Identify and discuss any concepts in the Social Problems course t

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