Intereesting thoughts, thanks.
I was so incensed by the suggestion that children should be denied instruction on critical thinking that my anger caused me to go of somewhat half cocked.
I think that a child can and should be taught critical thinking (how to think, not what to think) before he (herin male pronouns include the female) is exposed to a huge range of “facts”. Some of those facts will probably be political and religious instruction, and it would be better if kids had the tools to make up their own mind about whether what they are being taught is true. They should know to ask themselves questions like: Why is he telling me this improbable stuff? What are his assumptions, beliefs, and prejudices? What is the evidence? What does he have invested in my belief? What do other credible educated people think? Where can I get the full story?
Also, if you could pass the 8th grade test of your grandfather, you would probably know the difference between wrote and rote.
Got me there. True, but spelling is merely arbitrary knowledge and therefore not intrinsically very valuable or interesting in my opinion. This is probably why I never wrote this one to memory. You got my meaning, so my communication was effective. I agree that it can sometimes be important, so an educated person should have a good knowledge of spelling. Really that is only because there are so many pedagogues, like you, who feel superior because they can spell well. These errors are usually overlooked on international forums like this. I have lived most of my life where they use English English, so my spelling is a bit off sometimes by parochial standards..
For me, knowlege is either intrinsically true and valuable, or arbitrary and man made and therefore of limited value. To illustrate this, Compare an engineer with a lawyer. The engineer understands science, the laws of nature and the universe. He can use this to make huge heavy machines fly over oceans, and to send HD color movies through space. This is because those laws apply everywhere and to everything. (Scottb will no doubt have sub atomic quantum examples where the engineer’s knowledge is wrong, but that is still scientifice knowledge that can be applied to technology). By contrast, the lawyer has a sound knowledge of the legislation and court practice of one, or a few jurisdictions and his knowledge is incorrect if he moves very far. He can ( often, but not without major risk) achieve a favorable outcome in a court where the man made laws are supreme, but he does not understand how his toaster works.
I don’t think that good teachers must be more intelligent (smarter) than their students but they should be able to recognize the bright ones and help them to reach their full potential. Critical thinking skills will be the key to that.
On the subject of “non-citizens unlawfully present in the United States”; Why would I want to spend my (tax) money to educate criminals?
Duh! Isin’t it obvious? So that they will not be standing around on street corners dealing drugs for a living because that is all they know how to do. They are not all like that but you confined this discussion to the criminals among them. While those people are living here, they represent a resource of the United states. It would be fooliosh not to develop the full potential of that resource for our economy. If they were able to get good employment, serve in the military, care for their families and pay taxes, this country would be better for all of us and you would get a full return on your tax dollar that was used to educate them. Once they are paying fair taxes they are not freeloading on the welfare system or the education system.
The Asians who came here after the Korean and Vietnam wars were given a good welfare deal and have proved that they are as hard working and productive as the rest of us (on average, moreso).
When Texans find themselves talking like this they shoiuld take a deep breath and have a fresh look at the world, without the selfish distortions of their conservative upbringing and political environment. They need to develop their critical thinking skills.
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