Video Goes Viral Of Professors Critical Thinking Exercise
In a now-viral video, a student thought he had an epiphany when he realized that the author of the beloved Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling, was allegedly transphobic. However, the tables turned when his teacher skillfully dissected his claims and challenged him to think critically instead of simply accepting and spreading rumors.
The video, shared by political commentator Lee Harris, showcases a thought experiment presented by the teacher to the student. It began with the student asking whether Rowling’s alleged bigotry had changed the teacher’s opinions about her work. The teacher, instead of answering directly, asked the student to explain why he believed Rowling to be transphobic.
Quickly, the student admitted that he had based his assessment on things other people had claimed. However, when the teacher encouraged him to go directly to Rowling’s social media and read one of her posts, the student was taken aback. He read aloud one X post where Rowling stated, “Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real?”
The teacher, in his signature style of challenging critical thinking, posed the question to the student directly, asking, “So you find that bigoted?” The student admitted that he personally did not see anything bigoted about the post and revealed that he was going by what other people had said.
This is utterly brilliant. A student accuses @jk_rowling of being transphobic. This teacher skilfully dissects the claim and challenges it by asking questions.
He teaches not what to think, but how to think critically.
Watch until the end.
You see the epiphany in real-time. pic.twitter.com/x00gWdOugc
— Lee Harris (@addicted2newz) February 3, 2024
The teacher pressed him to consider further, emphasizing that critical thinking meant dissecting the post for himself rather than blindly following others’ opinions. As the discussion concluded, he noted that there was “not much difference” between what the student himself believed and what Rowling had said. “Do you think it’s fair that she’s being attacked by a large group of people?” the teacher asked.
The student laughed and admitted that he felt like an idiot for his previous beliefs. The teacher concluded by asking him whether it was the best way to phrase his earlier question, which had assumed Rowling’s alleged transphobia without any basis. Reflecting on his own words, the student realized the impact of spreading rumors and the importance of critical thinking.
Many viewers applauded the teacher’s approach to teaching critical thinking and challenging students to think for themselves rather than blindly following the crowd. The video also sparked a larger discussion about the dangers of cancel culture and spreading rumors without considering different perspectives and evidence.
Dress however you please.
Call yourself whatever you like.
Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you.
Live your best life in peace and security.
But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 19, 2019
Rowling has faced allegations of transphobia in the past, primarily due to her stance on gender identity and the implications for women, but she has repeatedly denied these claims. This incident serves as a reminder that assumptions and rumors can have a damaging impact and that critical thinking is crucial in understanding complex issues.
In the end, the student learned a valuable lesson about the dangers of blindly accepting rumors and the importance of critical thinking. His teacher’s thought experiment not only challenged his beliefs but opened up a larger conversation about the impact of cancel culture and the importance of understanding different perspectives. This viral video serves as a reminder to think critically and not simply believe everything we hear or read without further investigation.