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  1. #111
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    "Challenging the student's fixed beliefs" is the definition of any kind of critical thinking, and not just that associated with a particular pedagogical style.

    They have a problem with "challenging the student's fixed beliefs," because that is perceived as "undermining parental authority." That is, schools are to refrain from any teaching regimen that encourages children to make their own judgments, because, regardless of fact, the student must believe the same thing the parents do.
    Heaven forbid that we expect parental guidance actually to stand up to some logical scrutiny.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    Why would you complain about being taught straight facts?
    The state can only force specific beliefs down your throat if controversial topics are being discussed. They can develop the same skills thinking about the Pythagorean theorem, Shakespeare, and photosynthesis that they can thinking about evolution, religion, and climate change.

    Also, one's success is dependent on pleasing authority.

    Start committing felonies and tell me whether that helps or hinders your success.
    Being taught "straight facts" (which assumes they are indeed accurate) is like eating only dairy products. It is a highly unbalanced educational diet. Having basic facts at one's fingertips does make it easier to navigate the world and get things done. This is why kids memorize the alphabet, multiplication tables, and how to find the 50 states on a map. Beyond that, though, it is much more important to be able to size up a situation to understand what information ("facts") is needed, to know where to get that information, and to be able to assess its reliability. If kids don't learn this growing up, they become the kind of adults who can't think their way out of a paper bag. Of course if they do learn, they will then apply those skills to the GOP platform, and everything else that comes out of the mouths of politicians, religious leaders, and corporate propagandists.

    Critical thinking is exactly the opposite of forcing specific beliefs down someone's throat. A critical discussion of a controversial topic involves examination of different perspectives. Students are not forced to accept a particular one, but are judged (graded) on how well they present their case using facts, reasoning, and values. Some people, however, just can't accept that there is more than one valid way to view a controversial topic.

    Unquestioning obedience to authority is a necessary condition for totalitarian regimes like Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union, and also for institutionalized bigotry like slavery/segregation in the U.S. or apartheid in South Africa. The same critical thinking skills that show someone how an authority is corrupt and its mandates misuguided, however, will also suggest how to pick one's battles, and when it is advisable to go along with something in the interests of some greater goal.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  2. #112
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Heaven forbid that we expect parental guidance actually to stand up to some logical scrutiny.
    That's what I've always thought, too. Growing up, it was one of the biggest areas of conflict between me and my father. I was supposed to accept his (ESTJ) authority without question, but I have always been the type of person to question everything. With my own children, I plan to allow them to question me, I'll just crush them with superior logic.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  3. #113
    morose bourgeoisie
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    We all need to stop taking this apart so much. Just go with what you learned when you were a child. Yeah, that's the way.

  4. #114
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    That's what I've always thought, too. Growing up, it was one of the biggest areas of conflict between me and my father. I was supposed to accept his (ESTJ) authority without question, but I have always been the type of person to question everything. With my own children, I plan to allow them to question me, I'll just crush them with superior logic.
    My parents were funny. They taught us to question authority and then they were frustrated when we questioned THEIR authority.

  5. #115
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Heaven forbid that we expect parental guidance actually to stand up to some logical scrutiny.
    The problem is that logical scrutiny tends to produce ambiguous results (with particular exceptions, such as in math, where the premises are universally agreed upon). For example, I gave one recounting of the Texas Revolution above, as involving the treasonous land grab of another sovereign nation's territory, for the primary purpose of instituting chattel slavery where it had already been declared illegal. We were taught in school that the Texas Revolution had been fought over the response to General Santa Anna's disregard of the 1824 Mexican Constitution and crackdown on civil liberties, along with other issues, like the merged state of Coahuila y Tejas's capital being situated over 500 miles away from most Texians in Saltillo, and requirement of Anglo settlers in Texas to convert to Catholicism. Neither one of these narratives presents the complete story, but, neither one are incorrect. The Texian settlers did have legitimate grievances with the Mexican Government, but their chief grievance was their inability to establish slave-run plantations.

    A full assessment of the facts leads to the conclusion that the Texas Revolution was neither a good or a bad thing, but just a thing that happened, like most other historical events, and it is up to the person to judge its relative morality. This perspective does not coincide with the general Texan culture, however, which stresses pride in one's unique heritage among all states, since Texas was once its own country (Vermont didn't last long enough to count, and Hawaii... well that's not really a state, is it? *wink*). Since the schools are seen as a tool of acculturation, that means ambiguity is to be thrown out the window, and is instead to be replaced by those narratives which represent the Texan perspective on things.

    Being taught "straight facts" (which assumes they are indeed accurate) is like eating only dairy products. It is a highly unbalanced educational diet. Having basic facts at one's fingertips does make it easier to navigate the world and get things done. This is why kids memorize the alphabet, multiplication tables, and how to find the 50 states on a map. Beyond that, though, it is much more important to be able to size up a situation to understand what information ("facts") is needed, to know where to get that information, and to be able to assess its reliability. If kids don't learn this growing up, they become the kind of adults who can't think their way out of a paper bag. Of course if they do learn, they will then apply those skills to the GOP platform, and everything else that comes out of the mouths of politicians, religious leaders, and corporate propagandists.
    It's my belief that we as humans primarily learn through stories and narratives, which give the random bits of data in our universe meaning, and brings coherence to our overall model of the world. As a result, simply teaching facts leads to a chaotic and unsettled view of the world, where it is particularly unclear how these bits of data relate to one another. Even the hard disciplines, like science and math, are stories, describing how the things in the universe relate to one another on a concrete and abstract basis, respectively. Human social intelligence is perhaps the most highly developed aspect of our neurology, and learning through stories engages this capacity.

    Critical thinking is exactly the opposite of forcing specific beliefs down someone's throat. A critical discussion of a controversial topic involves examination of different perspectives. Students are not forced to accept a particular one, but are judged (graded) on how well they present their case using facts, reasoning, and values. Some people, however, just can't accept that there is more than one valid way to view a controversial topic.
    The issue is that this sort of rationale does not resonate within a binary model of value. It is not comprehensible, in this mindset, for a teacher to grade a student assignment well based solely on its technical merits, if she disagrees with its conclusions. From this perspective, if she grades something well, that is because it is "good" in its entirety, and she must agree with it. Likewise, if she grades something poorly, it is because it is "bad." If she grades two papers with opposing conclusions identically, then "she doesn't know what she stands for," and of course, "if you stand for nothing, you'll fall for everything."

  6. #116
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rail Tracer View Post
    I would like to call Texas' insanity a counterpart to California's.

    Everyone else is Pennsyltucky in various dimensions. Some closer to California, others closer to Texas, and the swing states being the true Pennsyltucky with their sometimes extreme politicians.

    Everyone in this country is dragged by Californian and Texan politics. While we may not seem as important to the primaries and presidential elections, We.Run.Every.Thing.On.The.Background.

    You will be assimilated by California/Philadelphia or Texas/Pittsburgh one way or another if they don't stop each others madness.
    Pittsburgh ain't Texas (though many Yinzers are in Texas, as evidenced by the Steelers bars that exist in EVERY MAJOR CITY). It's not Pennsyltucky, either ("Philly on one end, Pittsburgh on the other, Alabama in the middle"). Try Altoona, or Williamsport.

  7. #117
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Pittsburgh ain't Texas (though many Yinzers are in Texas, as evidenced by the Steelers bars that exist in EVERY MAJOR CITY). It's not Pennsyltucky, either ("Philly on one end, Pittsburgh on the other, Alabama in the middle"). Try Altoona, or Williamsport.
    Agreed. Typically Pittsburgh and Philly go Democratic, it's everything in-between that goes good ol' country Republican. If the Dems didn't own those two cities, the Repubs would win the state/national elections in PA. The two cities you mention are indicative of the larger non-Dem cities, they're typically in the middle of nowhere and not typically in the "through-ways" across PA, Altoona in particular is a Pain in the Butt to reach.

    Harrisburg, the capitol, is interesting because the city itself is typically Democratic but all the suburbs and farmland around it go Republican; I remember Bush winning in 2004 (?) with a 9% lead in Dauphin County itself.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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  8. #118

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    The ENFP and I are trying to outbreed them, but their numbers are vast!
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  9. #119
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Well, critical thinking never helped the Republicans before.

    Thank you ladies and gentlemen, I'm here all night.
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  10. #120
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Pittsburgh ain't Texas (though many Yinzers are in Texas, as evidenced by the Steelers bars that exist in EVERY MAJOR CITY). It's not Pennsyltucky, either ("Philly on one end, Pittsburgh on the other, Alabama in the middle"). Try Altoona, or Williamsport.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Agreed. Typically Pittsburgh and Philly go Democratic, it's everything in-between that goes good ol' country Republican. If the Dems didn't own those two cities, the Repubs would win the state/national elections in PA. The two cities you mention are indicative of the larger non-Dem cities, they're typically in the middle of nowhere and not typically in the "through-ways" across PA, Altoona in particular is a Pain in the Butt to reach.

    Harrisburg, the capitol, is interesting because the city itself is typically Democratic but all the suburbs and farmland around it go Republican; I remember Bush winning in 2004 (?) with a 9% lead in Dauphin County itself.
    I see, so the information I am reading online is completely inaccurate (besides the in-between places between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.)

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