26 September 2009

Kids Need to be Taught to Think Critically

**In light of recent videos showing kids being indoctrinated and singing a fascist sounding song praising Obama, I thought this short essay was appropriate.

Kids should not be indoctrinated by these leftist goons in the public schools. Something must be done. Children need to be able to think critically so that they can become critical thinking adults. Critical thinking is essential to our Republic. If we are to remain a free and civil society critical thinking is absolutely necessary. Without out it there cannot be self-rule. If critical thinking declines then we as a people and a culture will decline as well. Due to a decline in individualism and critical thinking, several crises have been created which were then exploited by opportunistic politicians who have continued to expand the size and scope of our federal government far beyond the limits intended by our Framers. People have not been critically evaluating those invested with power and we now stand on the brink of soft-tyranny in which the government will control even the most miniscule aspects of our daily life. So for our Republic to survive and our liberty to remain intact we need a new generation of leaders, voters, and Americans to think critically about the issues we face and start solving our problems.
Children are seldom taught critical thinking skills in most schools. This, I think, is by design. Critically thinking children will know when they are being lied to and/or indoctrinated so the government run school systems generally try to suppress critical thinking in the classroom. There are exceptions, however, in many schools where there are good teachers willing to put the effort in to teach these vital skills. I have had many wonderful teachers that challenged me to think critically and I am extremely thankful for it. There are good people fighting the good fight and giving kids the full effort they deserve from their educators.
In my classroom critical thinking would be the focus. I will strive to teach them how to think rather than what to think. I will not lecture in a one-sided fashion. All students will be required to engage in the discussion and ask questions or state a thoughtful point regarding the material presented. I will give them the necessary tools and facts and present my opinions. Then I will encourage lively debate and urge the students to formulate their own points of view. I will assign homework that will spur critical thinking. They will have to write papers and essays on different subject matter. They need to learn how to structure and frame coherent arguments and draw inferences from the factual classroom material I present. I will demonstrate how to break down someone else’s arguments into the essential terms in search of facts and truth. I will teach logical thought processes that have been lost on this day and age. It will be my goal to teach my class how to be a gadfly, as Socrates would put it, and wake the lumbering beasts from their sleep. I will teach them to (paraphrasing G. Washington) flood the battlefield of ideas with honest questions. It will be my goal to teach them to seek out the truth in all cases. That is how critical thinking can be taught, and must be taught to preserve the Republic.