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Xboxless

Texas GOP's stance on education

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Xboxless

I will first blast you with a quote straight from their platform:

 

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.

 

This is the link to their website: http://convention.texasgop.org/ Just click the PDF version for their 2012 platform and you can find it.

 

I was born in Texas and I live in Texas but if this is their stance on critical thinking then I may want to die in Texas quite soon. I cannot begin to understand the thought process that lead them to this stance. By stating this, they either show that they themselves do not use critical thinking or that they are hypocrites and are explicitly denying current and future children what they themselves use.

 

I shouldn't have to but critical thinking is the most important thing to teach. Why, because if we don't question our values or our current situation then we can never adapt to our situation. It's like evolution, if we can't adapt to our situation then we fail, and only through critical thinking can we first understand the change in our situation, and then figure out how to adapt to it.

It's just so f*cking asinine. I hate to get emotional about it, but I can't help but get extremely pissed.

 

I have been thinking about it and right underneath they mention that it is mainly a parents job to educate. So maybe they are thinking that a parent will do that? Still I have to consider a bad idea, because a child spends most of his or hers early lifetime being taught not by their parents but the school. I have hard time seeing many parents teaching critical thinking too. So it's going to have to be taught in schools.

Edited by Xboxless

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El Dildo
I cannot begin to understand the thought process that lead them to this stance.

you can't?

 

I can....

 

user posted image

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Icarus

Seriously, critical thinking is probably one of the most important aspects of scientific education. Without that, there is really no point to learning science (I'm being biased as a man of science, but it can be used in non-science subjects too).

 

If that's the pedagogical practice they want to put into the education system in Texas, I'd argue that having a high school diploma from any secondary school is Texas is worth squat. Seriously, how can you call it an education if you aren't being challenged to some degree (I don't mean that in terms of academic difficulty, but rather, thinking outside the box and being urged to look at things from different points of view)?

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Xboxless
Seriously, critical thinking is probably one of the most important aspects of scientific education. Without that, there is really no point to learning science (I'm being biased as a man of science, but it can be used in non-science subjects too).

 

If that's the pedagogical practice they want to put into the education system in Texas, I'd argue that having a high school diploma from any secondary school is Texas is worth squat. Seriously, how can you call it an education if you aren't being challenged to some degree (I don't mean that in terms of academic difficulty, but rather, thinking outside the box and being urged to look at things from different points of view)?

I knew this would get your goat.

 

Critical thinking can be used for anything.

 

I am relieved and surprised to know that I got out of school here in Texas with at least a modicum amount of critical thinking and I can't trace a single bit of it back to school.

 

 

I have another question. Anybody that was taught anywhere else, especially a supposedly progressive place, can you describe what school was like?

 

Did it teach you critical thinking at all? I'm only just now, in my English college class, being taught about critical thinking and having things questioned. I can only think of one instance like that and it was my government class in my senior year of high school.

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Icarus

I always remember in high school physics, my teachers would emphasize one key point: does your answer make sense?

 

For example, if you're doing something with waves and you get a velocity that's greater than the speed of light, well, you definitely messed something up (there's some limited cases where this wouldn't be a problem, but in high school, that's irrelevant).

 

If you're doing a problem with projectile motion and you had to solve for time using the quadratic equation and got t1 < 0 and t2 > 0, well, you obviously discard t1 because you can't have a negative elapsed time.

 

It was these little things that the teachers always tried to emphasize in that, does your answer actually make sense in the real physical world. If not, go back and try and find out where your error is by being critical of your work. You're doing self-critical analysis, essentially.

 

In fact, when I TAed first year labs over the last two years, this was something I told students to do when they got their expected value after finishing the lab. When I marked the reports, if your answer made sense but you did an error in the calculations (i.e. mathematical error), you would lose marks, but if you presented an answer (with correct calculations) that made no physical sense (i.e. through a misconception of the theory), you lost way more marks than the other person, because you should be thinking about the answers you're putting down on paper, not blindly submitting them.

 

I also remember in grade twelve English, my teacher liked us to write argumentative essays and when we finished the essay, she also wanted us to attach a mini-essay that argued the other side (e.g. if your main essay was a stance on pro-choice, your mini-essay would argue pro-life). Her reasoning for doing that was that she wanted you to appreciate both sides of the debate and also be comfortable playing Devil's advocate. I actually really enjoyed that part of high school English and there are times I certainly enjoy being the Devil's advocate.

 

The part where they say they don't want to encourage critical thinking because it has "the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs" is kind of scary; it almost seems like something à la 1984. Your beliefs should be challenged and if you truly believe in them, you should have no problem defending them. You should also be looking at the world around you from a critical point of view; not necessarily the cynical point of view, but at least the realist point of view.

Edited by Icarus

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Dingdongs

 

For example, if you're doing something with waves and you get a velocity that's greater than the speed of light, well, you definitely messed something up (there's some limited cases where this wouldn't be a problem, but in high school, that's irrelevant).

 

If you're doing a problem with projectile motion and you had to solve for time using the quadratic equation and got t1 < 0 and t2 > 0, well, you obviously discard t1 because you can't have a negative elapsed time.

 

I actually just found stuff like that out recently. I remember back in geometry we'd do different equations to find sides of shapes and they'd just say to reject anything negative. They never explained why though, i.e. that a shape's sides cannot be negative (atleast in high school). Critical thinking is not just opposed by really religious people, it's opposed by teachers and administrators who want to teach to the test.

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sivispacem

This has to be some kind of bad joke. Critical thinking is the basis of every scientific, technical, engineering or mathematical subject, as others have rightly pointed out. It is also the basis of history, philosophy, theology, sociology, psychology, politics, international relations, anthropology and just about any other social science; half of the arts and really anything that's discursive or analytical. How can you "oppose" something which is the basis of just about everything educational?

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Icarus
This has to be some kind of bad joke.

In most progressive societies, I would agree, but I concur with El_Diablo - it shouldn't come as a surprise given that it is Texas.

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El Dildo

seriously, there's no reason to scratch our heads about this.

 

Texas is ultra-religious.

Texas is f*cked up.

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Adept

I am from Texas. Yes there are some close minded people here. Yes, our education system is influential to the rest of the country. Yes, its f*cking hilarious. If I were to, if I could even, well, just write to your congressman and maybe something will change. *snicker* come on. Get off your ass and make sh*t happen.

 

- This isn't general chat or V. Quality posts please -

Edited by sivispacem

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DareYokel

Sounds like something out of Onion news. They can't be serious. Education without critical thinking is just brainwashing.

 

The worst thing is that some people will actually vote for these guys.

Edited by GTAvanja

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Jesus'En'Hitler420

Whoever wrote, edited, and your states GOP commitee that published it are trying to appeal to an audience of millions of independents and GOP members. Some of your state do believe in that stance and will bring up that issue whenever they can but all your reading there is the party line and it may or may not be followed up on depending on the candidate and district and office they are running for. Here's the thing you seem to be missing because of your ideals: the state of Texas is very far to the right on parental freedom in deciding how and what their child can and should be taught, which can be good or bad depending on your ideals. Does every GOP candidate believe in the "party platform"? Not me. And I know some candidates in my state that do not buy the party platform 100% but in order to get GOP money (aka: crucial to your campaign) you do what you have to.

 

Here's a fun little gem I picked out in the GOP platform:

 

 

Classroom Discipline –We recommend that local school boards and classroom teachers be given more authority to deal with disciplinary problems. Corporal punishment is effective and legal in Texas.

 

Come on, none of you every wanted to see some little sh*t get smacked for being a little asshole at 7:30 in the morning?

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Leftcoast

The stance of the TX GOP education is part of why we are not producing what we should be scientifically and technically in the US.

 

I went to school in Northern California, Elementary School thru college. When I went to school, critical thinking was highly regarded. These days it's been pushed aside and there is an increase focus on knowledge based education and crummy tests to verify that the student population is learning what they should be learning.

 

I work as an engineering and you really can't be successful at that if you have no critical thinking skills. If we as a society continue down this path, it will become harder and harder for us to compete in the world market as our technology will continue to stagnate. As it is, we are far too reliant on hiring foreign engineers because we cannot meet our own demand locally.

 

I'm not against hiring foreign engineers at all, I just wanted to state that I believe we become too reliant on them.

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Troll Proof

 

I work as an engineering and you really can't be successful at that if you have no critical thinking skills. If we as a society continue down this path, it will become harder and harder for us to compete in the world market as our technology will continue to stagnate. As it is, we are far too reliant on hiring foreign engineers because we cannot meet our own demand locally.

 

I dont think society is losing its critical thinking skills, there is still a lot of innovation and new ideas coming out of the U.S., and even more so as future applications of technology adapt to enhancing learning. Foreign engineers seem to be spoken of as more "top down", counter to the mindset that we have in America, where it is more creative and innovative.

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lil weasel

Shucks... you all make it sound like some kind of Religious biased teaching.

I was under the impression that H.O.T.S (Higher Order Thinking Skills) was for the Retarded classrooms.

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sivispacem

 

Shucks... you all make it sound like some kind of Religious biased teaching.

I was under the impression that H.O.T.S (Higher Order Thinking Skills) was for the Retarded classrooms.

I'm sorry, is that the depths of your contribution to this thread? Not to mention the fact that critical thinking is entirely separate (though linked in practical terms) to analytical thinking, which is what HOTS revolves around. Critical thinking is inwardly reflective, for one, and analytical thinking outwardly so. Seriously, why the hostility to self-fulfilment and self-furthering? First you attack higher education in general, now you dismiss higher-level critical and analytical thinking in the most juvenile way possible. Tell me, exactly what issue do you have with other people applying their intellect? I cannot for the life of me fathom why you are so unnecessarily disparaging towards what I suppose is best described as self-enlightenment of any form. Can you explain this? Because if you got a bum deal at some point in your life, I sympathise, but that doesn't give you any insight or ability to reflect on the value of grand concepts.

Edited by sivispacem

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TenEightyOne

Absolutely terrifying.

 

Whatever people say about the US it has the wherewithal to implement some of the finest education of any country in the world, I feel personally that this kind of stance sets that back 100 years.

 

Only my own opinion and clearly not one that's shared by some (supposedly) very well-educated people.

 

EDIT: In fairness, a bit more research seems to show that the Texas GOP redacted their "Higher Order Thinking Skills" passage, and a more indepth analysis of the document shows some surprising leanings towards the propogation of free speech... but the other boundaries, constraints and beliefs that are evident in the document continue to terrify me.

Edited by TenEightyOne

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feliciano2040

Between this, the death penalty and pro-abstinence education, I think you guys in the US have solid reasons to let Texas secede.

 

Really, you should let them if they ask.

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