Re: [mythsoc] no critical thinking in the schools, please
- Unfortunately, Wendell, we are rapidly replacing critical thinking in the
classrooms with "Teaching for the Tests". A set of tests giving that purely
depend on being able to check the correct A,B,C or D. Thus they are very "fact"
oriented. In fact, the critical thinking part of the California State Test was
deliberately thrown out! Some groups were afraid of the children learning how to
think. Really, I'm not making it up!
I know, I'm a mom of an 11 year old, a fifth grader.
Luckily, the San Jose Unified School District does not agree with the state and
administers it's own tests on Writing and Math that depend on critical thinking.
In Fifth Grade they are required to write an real essay with problem, ideas for
solutions, and conclusion. My son has been studying for months, learning the
techniques. Best thing that ever happened to him. He's already a great story
teller but needs to learn the more formal methods of writing.
And yes, let us not go into who hates critical thinking, I've seen too many
arguments against Thinking Critically from all sides, right, left, religious and
non! Thinking just isn't to be allowed in America! It's bad for us! <g>
> From: WendellWag@...
> I think that we now do more of the critical thinking type of learning in
> American schools than ever before. On the whole, I think that's for the
> best. It's very difficult to find a balance between a memorization type of
> learning and a critical thinking (discovery/discussion) type of learning.
- In a message dated 03/23/2000 4:38:57 AM Pacific Standard Time,
<< So I'm wondering if there isn't an inherent block to learning
critical thinking in the schools, AND, since I have two small children in
house, how I can prevent them from following in my footsteps.. >>
WARNING: rant follows that I wish were fantasy but it isn't:
This is somewhat off-topic, but I can't resist.
Yes, schools are structured in such a way as to prevent critical thinking as
much as human design can do so while still pretending to be free. I believe
this is deliberate. The purpose of our public schools, at least in America,
is not to produce people who can think critically and independently, but to
produce cogs that will fit into the industrial/economic machine with a
minimum of stress and jarring. That is why schools are so regimented and
lockstep, why they rely almost entirely on quantifiable standardized tests to
measure assimilation (as in "interchangeable parts"), and why the main, and
usually the only, reason given for getting a good education is "to compete in
today's job market" or some similar phrase. I don't remember the last time I
read anyone saying that education is an end in itself, or has value
independent of economics.That's all educational leaders think education is
for. I'm surprised it has taken this long for the school uniform bandwagon to
There is also the American cultural bias against intelligence (very uncool),
but schools have contributed to it as much as they have suffered from it.
Sure, they talk a good game about creativity and such, but try to be creative
outside approved (narrow) boundaries and see how fast you get stepped on.
To suggest an answer to your second question, a good private school will
probably do less damage than the public school. Home schooling, if you can
manage it, would probably be even better. Good luck.
(Still bitter, but with good reason)