Social Worker, Industrial Engineer, Professor, Author
After a brief experience as a social caseworker, I spent four years as an industrial engineer. My duties included conducting time and motion studies; analyzing work methods, equipment, and layout; determining the causes of productivity variances; and supervising the work of junior engineers.
While an engineer, I attended graduate school at night. After receiving my degree, I accepted a position teaching humanities at Delhi College, a unit of State University of New York, where I remained for my entire teaching career.
My experience as an industrial engineer had taught me the importance of careful thinking in business and personal productivity. As a professor, I made the primary goal of all my courses not simply conveying information, but also teaching students to think about problems and issues associated with the subject matter. More specifically, I taught them how to ask questions, find and evaluate answers, make thoughtful judgments, and compare their thinking with that of experts.
My work in guiding students to apply imagination and reason in their learning is internationally recognized as a pioneering contribution to the field of Critical and Creative Thinking.
Now, as Professor of Humanities Emeritus, I continue as an advocate for sound thinking in education and in the general culture through my writing. I have written 22 books and over 200 essays and articles. Four of my textbooks have been continuously in print for an average of 33 years each. I also write books for the general public, the latest of which is Corrupted Culture: Rediscovering America’s Enduring Principles, Values, and Common Sense. In addition, I write a weekly online column.