MESSAGE FROM THE FOUNDING DIRECTOR

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Dr. Bhoendradatt TewarieThe objectives of this technical bridge are simple: to intensify the discussion on education and to take it up to a more appropriate level; to rethink our approach to education and to reassess the role of the school and other related institutions; to do these things collaboratively and constructively building partnerships and alliances; to facilitate a more progressive approach to the design of learning environments and to the way teachers teach; and to create learning communities and networks everywhere for the purpose of stimulating thinking, creativity and innovation throughout the society.

 

On the occasion of my inauguration as Principal of the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies the theme of my address was “Working for a Learning Society”. At that time (2002), I said “We must begin to rethink everything that we do and how we do it and we must do everything, better and with even greater enthusiasm and energy”.

 

See the Institute of Critical Thinking therefore as part of our continuing effort to build a learning society. For five years between 2002 and 2007 many people worked conscientiously to operationalize the strategic plan for the campus. And now I am part of the leadership team that is driving the strategic implementation for UWI as a whole as we further intensify our transformation efforts into 2012. In the past we have often heard that what happens at the University is unconnected to life in the community and society. Through the Institute of Critical Thinking we hope to engage the community and part company with the tradition of academics talking to other academic only. Our approach is to embrace you community members as part of the solution.

 

I would like to think that you are searching for answers and that you think that we might at least be able to walk the road of discovery together. I would like to think that you are reading this because you see yourself as part of the solution to problems we share as a community. I would like to think that the Institute is a kind of attractor to which positive and purposeful people have been won in spite of the seeming chaos which surrounds us. I would like to think that the University is being seen, more and more, as an oasis on which the community can draw whenever it feels itself challenged. I would like to think that our community wants a more meaningful education system and is willing to work to realize such an objective. I would like to think that amidst the chaos and confusion you see pretty clearly the need for critical thinking and the value of the Institute of Critical Thinking.

 

We live in challenging times and the time has come for you to stand up for what you believe. We must think through our future and create it. Because if we do not create our future someone else will. We must collectively envision our future in our minds and then work on the design and creation. The future we create is determined by what we do in the present.

 

This is a time of great urgency when collective self empowerment, purposeful collaborative action and collective achievement must underscore what we envisage as success. Individual achievement is still indispensable but no longer can this be at the expense of the community. Individual achievement must facilitate the rise of the community at large.

 

The present in which we now live has already been created for us or we ourselves might have knowingly or unknowingly conspired to create it. But we live and we learn. The important thing is that we learn. When we learn we grow and evolve and are better able to deal with the inevitable new challenges. And so we press on.

 

Dr. Bhoendradatt Tewarie
Pro Vice Chancellor Planning and Development
Director, Institute of Critical Thinking

 

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Institute of Critical Thinking
UWI St. Augustine
Trinidad & Tobago
Tel: (868) 663-0746
Fax: (868) 645-1523
Email: ict@sta.uwi.edu