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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Importance of critical thinking

From today's LA Times comes this op-ed from an LA public school teacher. His point? Education is more effective and long-lasting when children learn critical thinking skills.

If we can get beyond the notion of schools as testing factories, then teachers will have the freedom to strive for a higher standard of excellence. Part of that higher standard would include the teaching of critical thinking. How does a teacher do that? By creating an academic environment in which students can sift through the mass of facts being hurled at them and begin to perceive pathways of interconnectedness.

And...

Once students start seeing how and why seemingly disparate topics are related, and more important, once they start looking for and making those connections, then the teacher will have performed that special kind of classroom alchemy — turning passive receivers of knowledge into active participants in the learning process.

2 comments:

Mike said...

couldn't agree more... that being said, students need to first master some basic core skills - that is one has to have some level of understanding of the "seemingly disparate topics" on their own terms before one can see the interrelatedness - so, as with many things, it comes down to balance...

karim said...

Very useful post on Critical Thinking.

Thanks,
karim - Positive thinking