Thursday, August 20, 2015

FINALLY! Someone Else Says It!

I've said this for years:
If there is anything in education on which everyone agrees, it’s the vital importance of “critical thinking,” writes Alexander Nazaryan in Newsweek. However, before students can think, they need to learn. Call it “uncritical thinking,” the “unquestioning reception and retention of facts.”
Hear hear! If I've said it once I've said it a zillion times:  You can’t think critically if you don’t have a base of information to think critically about.  As I wrote in my comment at the link above:
Kids should learn their multiplication tables, for example; of course, understanding that multiplying is repeated addition, and knowing how to read and use place value, are important in that task, but they need to memorize them. Period. American students should know the names of the 50 states. Period.

Yes, there’s much memorization to be done.

If you’ve ever only been fed a steady diet of political views from one political party, you can’t really think critically about the other side because you don’t know about the other side.

You must *know* some stuff before you can analyze that stuff. In all honesty I can’t see how that idea can even be questioned.


maxutils said...

Well … yes and no. Part obeing able to use crticalthinking skills meand the abilitty to br demonstrably wrong. In a math class? I don't think it's useful to guess on stuff wherre you haven't learned enough to at least have a dhot at being right … but your typical English class? Part of the fun is having varting interpretations of wt yo;re reading. Usually the outliers are 'wrong,' but still … being able to explain yourself well is more important….

Pseudotsuga said...

But Darren, learning things means accepting authority and letting the man keep you down, an' all that hippy stuff!

David Foster said...

See my post Thinking and Memorizing, continued:

Ellen K said...

In a similar manner, they should learn to write and read cursive.
They should learn to spell.
They should learn the basic rules of punctuation.
They should learn to write a letter.
They should learn read printed material.

Auntie Ann said...

Linear learning and logical thinking are just tools of white male oppression.