Ep 184: Critical Thinking (Part 2) – Important? Yes. But Can We Teach It?

MichaelCognition, Intelligence and Language, Critical Thinking, Research and Stats, Teaching Tools2 Comments

The importance of critical thinking for childrenIn episode 183 I talked about what critical thinking is and why it’s important. Now we talk about why it’s so darn hard to teach and to use critical thinking in our everyday lives. In this episode I’ll discuss Dr. Daniel Willingham‘s advice to teachers on what they can do to effectively teach critical thinking – something that couldn’t be more important in today’s world where misinformation is all around us. Make sure to take a look at the concept map below.

Resources on Critical Thinking

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. – 2012 Platform of the Republican Party of Texas

School Health Care – We urge legislators to prohibit reproductive health care services, including counseling, referrals, and distribution of condoms and contraception through public schools. We support the parents’ right to choose, without penalty, which medications are administered to their minor children. We oppose medical clinics on school property except higher education and health care for students without parental consent. — 2012 Platform of the Republican Party of Texas

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2 Comments on “Ep 184: Critical Thinking (Part 2) – Important? Yes. But Can We Teach It?”

  1. I’m a Chinese student interested in psychology. I listened to this podcast and felt compelled to comment. There IS a similar fable in China: a bear goes into a corn field, in order not to get lost, he eats corns and lay their peels on every corss road, so that he can find the way back by tracing the peels. So I guess that’s not entirely accurate to say Chinese lack resounding stories. Additionally, I wonder what if you give both Chinese and American students something either is familiar with, who would get it faster? In my opinion, since I’ve received education from both China and America, I do think Chinese students fall behind in terms of creativity and critical thinking. I have many incidents to prove that, but no solid theory. I want to hear what do you think. Thank you for making those fantastic podcasts. I really enjoyed them!

  2. I am a Christian and I listened to your Critical Thinking podcast recently. Let’s cut to the chase. Your comments about the Texas GOP opposing the teaching of critical thinking boils done to one issue that you sidestepped. Our government, has removed God/Christianity/Religion from our schools and replaced it with Atheism/Secular Humanism/Evolution. They support this with the idea that the government shouldn’t promote a specific religion. But, what is really at stake is not just a matter of religion, but a matter of world view: one with God and one without. Is it really fair to attack children in school because they were raised with a worldview that differs from your own? They are vulnerable and not mature enough to handle such a lopsided attack.
    To continue, do the schools really teach critical thinking when they suppress discussion or evidence that opposes molecules to man evolution? Not really. Are they promoting critical thinking when they mock Christians as ignoramuses that ignore science? Not really. To be sure, there is an agenda afoot, and lofty academic language doesn’t hide what is really going on. Your side is in power on this earth and using it to their own benefit. Your side does not give alternative arguments, or challenges to your shaky theories a fair chance in the discussion. So let’s call a spade a spade – you are not really promoting critical thinking in all areas equally. If you were, things would be very different in our country and our schools.

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