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Re: [mythsoc] no critical thinking in the schools, please

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  • Lisa Deutsch Harrigan
    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
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 23, 2000
      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>


      WendellWag@... wrote:

      > 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.
    • LSolarion@aol.com
      In a message dated 03/23/2000 4:38:57 AM Pacific Standard Time, ERATRIANO@aol.com writes:
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 24, 2000
        In a message dated 03/23/2000 4:38:57 AM Pacific Standard Time,
        ERATRIANO@... writes:

        << 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
        get rolling.
        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)
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