Saturday, February 23, 2013

Texas GOP Opposes Critical Thinking in Schools

I am six months late on this. But still found it shocking enough to publicly denounce.

The following quote is taken from the Texas Republican 2012 Platform statement, available here:

Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

 I just spend the week with some people who I am pretty sure are Texan Republicans. I should ask them what they think about this.  As a teacher, "higher order thinking skills" are what it is all about for me. Learning how to learn, questioning your sources, and thinking critically, are what separate a middle school student from a college graduate, more than any acquired body of knowledge. Knowledge these days is cheap and easy to come by via the internet. So what should we really be teaching in school if not skills and critical thinking?

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