Thursday, July 19, 2012

No Thinking in Texas?

Apparently the Republican Party of Texas has recently added a new plank to their platform:

"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. "

The party platform stated that the ability to think critically undermines parental authority and endangers student beliefs. Poppycock. When children are taught how to think, they can have appropriate discussions with their parents about family rules and morals. Higher level thinking skills are required to turn knowledge into action. It's required in the fields of higher math and science. 

If education is the way we prepare children for the future, then we are doing them a disservice if we don't teach them how to think. Creating a citizenry who cannot use their intellectual skills also puts all our future in danger. 

So, let's get all those educators to stop teaching kids to think! They don't need the ability to solve new problems, find innovative solutions to world problems, or make informed decisions! The crises  of world hunger and global warming will need creative solutions if we are to survive. 

This whole thing confuses me. What were they  thinking? Maybe the party leaders are adding this termite-infested plank because they don't want others to do what they can't. Critical thinking appears to be out of their grasp. After all, they endorse corporal punishment....