Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Critical thinking not practiced

"Last year the Texas G.O.P. explicitly condemned efforts to teach 'critical thinking skills,' because, it said, such efforts “have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.”
"The Ignorance Caucus", Paul Krugman, New York Times, 2013-02-11

This sounds like something George Lakoff wrote about in "Whose Freedom? The Battle over America's Most Important Idea".  Lakoff thinks that the battle is between those who have a strict father model and those who have a nurturing parent model.

Fixed beliefs are held by too many wherever they are on the political map, but the Republicans have been ossifying into ever more fixed beliefs for over ten years.  They are even against some things they used to be for because those ideas don't fit the fixed belief structure they now have.

As for fixed beliefs, those who believe critical thinking can be taught, might read the critical thinking article linked above.  One cognitive scientist doesn't believe critical thinking can be taught.

Surprisingly, it was the last great Republican President who said, "As our case is new, so we must think anew."  New thinking does not come from fixed beliefs and parental authority.