Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Texas Republican Party Opposes Teaching Kids' Critical Thinking Skills

For some time now I've been advising parents to help their kids improve their critical thinking, personal strength and communication skills - so they'll grow up to be successful, happy and independent adults.

I didn't know that what I've been saying is diametrically opposed to the Texas Republican party's agenda. It's true that Texas governor Rick Perry has quietly been appointing people who want creationism taught in science courses to the state Board of Education. But the published 2012 Texas GOP platform makes it clear how they really want to shape the minds of young people.

On Page 12 of The Republican Party of Texas: "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."

Apparently, they're worried that if students learn to reason and think for themselves, these kids will accept the concept of evolution and reject creationism - and maybe other Christian beliefs along with it.

The Texas Republican solution:  Keep school children ignorant. Keep their minds on an emotional, irrational level and they won't question Christian beliefs. And now they've gone public about it. Maybe they believe most God-fearing Americans feel the same way.

But I wonder - Is it really true that most Americans actually want politicians to manipulate the education system in order to limit the intellectual capacity of their children?

What about you? What do you think?

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2012. Building Personal Strength . (Permission to use image purchased from fotolia.com)


Gale said...

As a Christian, I'm all for teaching critical thinking skills. Don't know about those particular programs though so can't comment on them, though "values clarification" sounds like the "lifeboat" excercise, which I'm not particularly fond of:

Nice parody...

Greg said...

I saw your post and was curious. The wording was stupid, but the subject you speak of I know a little about.
After reading your posts it is obvious you belve in evolution. Your insult to Christians is remarkable on several fronts.
For example, you speak of critical thinking skills, yet how many students today would you believe have actually read Origin of Species? And can you tell me exactly when Evolution moved from a theory to proven fact?
Your posts on the origin of life are for lack of a better term, based on blind faith, correct? You are simpy taking a scientists word for it based upon something you read.
You asked for my comments, and I welcome your insight.