|Images adapted from:
Burning Bush – http://goo.gl/SddwK
Republican Party of Texas – http://goo.gl/TTWVS
Dr. Scott McLeod (Dangerously Irrelevant) and Doug Johnson (Blue Skunk) noticed that the 2012 Texas Republican platform includes a piece that defies reason–higher order thinking and critical thinking are opposed by Texas Republicans.
We [Texas Republicans] oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that…have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.
The reasons why they oppose it are surprising but not unexpected–it’s an attack against outcome based education, whatever the heck that means.
Outcome-based education (OBE) is a student-centered learning philosophy that focuses on empirically measuring student performance, which are called outcomes. OBE contrasts withtraditional education, which primarily focuses on the resources that are available to the student, which are called inputs. While OBE implementations often incorporate a host of many progressive pedagogical models and ideas, such as reform mathematics, block scheduling, project-based learning and whole language reading, OBE in itself does not specify or require any particular style of teaching or learning. Instead, it requires that students demonstrate that they have learned the required skills and content. However in practice, OBE generally promotes curricula and assessment based on constructivist methods and discourages traditional education approaches based on direct instruction of facts and standard methods. (Source: Wikipedia)
…critical thinking, meaning the ability to question your own assumptions and the assumptions of others. If you agree vehemently with something and think it’s the most brilliant idea that you’ve ever heard, to practice the art of articulating why you feel that way. To apply some reasoning to your emotions, for better or for worse.
To look a piece of research and wonder about the sources of the information or the bias of the analyst or the motivation for the company who sponsored the study. To know that the author who wrote the best-selling book is still capable of turning out an article that’s not so great (and that that’s perfectly normal, human, and okay, not cause for an internet uprising). Source: Brass Tack Thinking – Critical Thought is Endangered
I urge you to question your own assumptions about how to educate the children of Texas. In truth, you are raising yourself up as “Chief Thinker and Problem-Solver.” And, the problem with that is that our children–who can model how to be Learners in Chief— have the potential to do the job better than you…if you stop trying to do their thinking for them and expect them to merely be smaller versions of yourself.
“Those who think they ‘know’ from the beginning will never, in fact, come to know anything.”
– Thomas Merton
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