Teaching What to Think or How to Think?

It used to be a rallying cry in education that we should teach students how to think rather than what to think. Looks like it was honored in the breach, doesn’t it? When educators today do attempt to teach thinking skills, it is called “critical thinking.” Why not analytical and synthetic thinking? Analytical thinking could sort through claims to find which are true/factual. Synthetic could build arguments and create in whatever topic area. Critical thinking sounds negative. It sounds destructive. It sounds anti-traditional. It sounds like “critical race theory.” All of that is for good reason — it is.

“Critical thinking” was supposed to be superior to traditional thinking that merely accepted what was taught. It is a synonym for more sophisticated, less moral and less traditional thinking. Unfortunately, many people learned this anti-God content, pride, and a false sense themselves as sophisticated in college — and then promptly stopped learning, or continuing to critique what they were taught, and indeed maybe stopped cognizing at all! Maybe that is harsh? Check out the sophomoric discussions of undergrads in the coffee house.

Worst of all, plainly, it was teaching what to think. And the results have not been good. Not for anyone.

Take a look at the resources for teaching “critical thinking skills” that come, unbidden, into faculty mailboxes and you will find an anti-traditional, anti-God bias. However, good I find that good logic skills can often be used in arguing for God and evangelism. Logic, as contrasted with “critical thinking” should be taught, and used — practiced in practical ways.

It is up to you parents to teach thinking skills. I doubt that a title “Logic” would be appealing except to a few parents home school in the classical method. Good titles are important. Feel free to suggest some.

Next week, we will begin a teach-in on thinking skills and statistics for citizens applied to the current concern. Nearly everyone’s attention is STILL on the subject. There is considerable doubling down on lies and malfeasance and a nascent uprising of informed citizens. Hope you find this helpful. Please share.

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