But in present-day, Katy, Texas, it's because it will get you in a world of trouble, a shit-storm that had Houston-area broadcasters delivering wide-eyed, breathless statements Tuesday night under headlines like: Twelve-year-old Jordan Wooley addressed the Katy ISD school board and told Eyewitness News that when she answered the belief-in-God question as both "factual claim" and "opinion," her teacher told her she was wrong and God was a myth. Jordan explained most reasonably that while it was a fact to her, she understood that some other people would consider it opinion. Was the activity graded?
Share via Email Critical thinking and teaching through the Socratic method have been around for donkey's years. Why then are they not used and recognised? The comments on the article perhaps predictably focused on the lack of any form of assessment for rational thought, or the ability to assess No critical thinking in texas schools thinking as a skill within the framework of most subjects.
But the truth is, critical thinking and teaching through the Socratic method have been around for donkey's years. One of the most overused quotes in any liberal teacher's hymn book is that the majority of jobs our students will work in their adult lives, have yet to be invented.
This is often used as a lynchpin for the teacher to justify their avant-garde teaching techniques the same ones that come up every five years that are politely indulged by line managers as a harmless exercise in career development, before their results come in under target, and they get on with the serious business of getting the students to pass the exams.
And herein lies the problem. The same problem that education has been ignoring like the increasingly large elephant in the room for the past 20 years. Schools are businesses now so more than ever, as they balance their books one playing field at a time and the bottom line is league tables.
If not nationally, then locally.
By contrast, critical thinking as a subject has been around in schools for many years. It was brought in as a replacement to the brilliantly terrible general studies in the hope that students might get something specific and useful, rather than well, general.
And with the speed at which the world is developing, the need for the ability to rationalise argument, and synthesising new information into a cogent, reflective and logical action is surely at a paramount, not to mention the core of a teacher's purpose?
Well — yes and no. Yes, in theory, but here's the thing. Universities hate critical thinking. The overwhelming majority do not offer UCAS points for grades in critical thinking.
Durham Law School give the wonderfully vague claim that "it is hoped that evidence of a student's critical abilities will be found in their past and predicted examination performances", and while Oxbridge say they like to see it on an application, they offer no accreditation to the exam either.
This dunderheaded decision has lead to a domino effect in secondary education. If a school's primary purpose is to generate pass rates and percentages into higher education and it currently is, like it or notthen why devote staff to critical thinking?
Let it fill up part-time staff's timetables, or pad out that under scheduled music teacher's day. Motivated students question what the point is to the subject, and while I would love to explain to them its long term importance, at 17, with a stack of English essays and biology research to write up, all of which has a concrete pay-off in a year's time, even they struggle to see the benefits.
Unmotivated students shrug and carry on regardless. After all, it's not like it matters if you fail, right? There are of course other pathways.
The Extended Project Qualificationschool debate teams, the International Baccalaureate all claim to advance a student's reflective and cognitive ability. And they do, for the few that engage with the ideas.
But they are difficult tasks that don't have tick-box answers. They take much longer to mark, don't have teacher training programs associated with them. They are, by definition, 'soft skills' and not hard facts.
And they're much harder to put on a school brochure. This content is brought to you by Guardian Professional. Sign up to the Guardian Teacher Network to get access to more thanpages of teaching resources and join our growing community.
Looking for your next role? See our Guardian jobs for schools site for thousands of the latest teaching, leadership and support jobs Topics.The attack on critical thinking, or what the Texas GOP Platform calls “Higher Order Thinking Skills” represents the most recent iteration of . The Texas GOP's declarative position against critical thinking in public schools, or any schools, for that matter, is now an official part of their political platform.
Any of my search term words; All of my search term words; Find results in Content titles and body; Content titles only.
Aug 07, · Imagine the effect on students of being deprived not only of critical thinking, but also of learning even one viewpoint because the curriculum that would have prepared them for high school is no.
Jul 08, · The Republican Party of Texas has issued their political platform and has come out and blatantly opposed [to] critical thinking in public schools throughout the state. If you wonder what took them so long to actually state that publicly, it is really a matter of timing.
With irrationality now. Ben Morse argues that for as long as universities fail to recognise achievements in critical thinking with UCAS points, the subject will continue to be ignored at secondary level.