Perception is everything in a world that is driven by rational and reflective individuals. What we think about something is shaped and contorted by our schema, which largely influences our actions. The world as a whole has a number of perceptions and bias about it that have become part of our collective consciousness and version of the truth. Geography is a perfect example. Human-made maps and collected data have shaped our view of the world and its places. The result is adopting and believing things that are inaccurate or misrepresented.
This West Wing clip entitled: "Why are we changing maps?" explains this very point. Critical thinking in a classroom is important. With nothing else at your disposal, you can always rely on open-ended questions and critical thinking to ignite discussion in your class. The quality of the talk and duration of the conversation will always depend on the nature of your class, but even if the discussion relies heavily on only a few students, the others should still be listening.
Students need challenges. The ones that really inspire thought and harness the potential of the student mind lack an answer and dare them to try. Critical thinking is vital to preparing global citizens and responsible members of the world. Progress demands that we question. History begs us to improve. Teachers need to set the stage in their rooms before releasing students into the world.