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  1. #121
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mia. View Post
    The part I can’t get over is that to blindly rant and rally to arms over this demonstrates a lack of awareness of all the possible situations that could be really going on here, and shows exactly how gullible people really are and a lack of critical thinking skills – which is the really ironic and humorous part.

    An essential component of all propaganda is spin. You can’t just look at phraseology, you have to look at intended impact. Merely saying “critical thinking” is being encouraged doesn’t mean it is. When I was in grad school, “critical thinking” more often than not meant “adopting our new spoon fed belief system.” It wasn’t about critical thinking at all – it was code for reprogramming. If you actually tried to engage with the material in a critical way, they actually became hostile.

    One of the articles in the OP also mentions the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. This is a GREAT example of the same thing. If you look at what that treaty has been used to do in other countries that have ratified it, you will realize quickly it is not about children’s rights – that is a fleece issue, because we already have laws that protect children – it is a tool flexible enough in possible interpretation to be used for usurping a nation’s current laws and constitution about any matter conceivable by foreign entities, even defense spending. It is a perfect example of intended impact is not what its stated impact is. However, call it about children’s rights, and “ooh yeah… me no like being mean to children….that’s bad… really bad….” suddenly you have an army of bobble-headed simpletons rallying around a fleece issue at your disposal.
    When I see flaming emotional pleas or outrage, it always raises my guard as somebody has an objective and is seeking influence and I feel compelled to spend time investigating the OTHER side of the debate even more thouroughly, than if they had just stated fact. In this instance it seems they scrwed up in what they were trying to say however thier is some fuzziness to how the terms are being defined and used... That folks would so easily fall for the way the words are being redefined, without picking up on the context switch, is actually the scary part to me as it highlights how susceptible we all are to eating somebody else's hyperbole without questioning it.

    The particular wording of "behavioral modification" as a description of a teaching technique is also disturbing to me-that sounds like therapy, something that belongs outside of a school setting. Much of the social conservative platform disturbs me and is ridiculous, but in this instance, they are just saying things in a way that opened them up for critique, making them crappy at communication, thus likely incompetent at other things as well. (They do seem rather stupid all around however for not recognizing the ridiculousness of what they wrote.)



    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphosis View Post
    The Texas education system sucks, especially because of it's extreme focus on standardized testing, but whether that platform statement is just written poorly or not it looks pretty damning.

    Also, since their seems to be some confusion on this issue...I can't speak for rural areas, but I wasn't taught creationism in public school (in Texas obviously).
    I went to school in a rural area in Texas. A large number of students were very religious and had student groups that were religion associated, but were not inforced on others. At worst, they did say a prayer before the football games. The trend towards standardized testing since I graduated has done far more damage to the education students recieve, than some random wackjob social conservative credo. I removed my older son from the local public ISD and placed him into a state funded science based charter school. At the public school he was spending upwards of 60% of classtime of TAKS prep. At the charter school he spends about ten hours total every school year in TAKS prep.

  2. #122
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    Yes to the above. It's very funny. When I see flaming emotional pleas or outrage, it always raises my guard as somebody has an objective and is seeking influence. In this instance it seems they totally scrwed up in what they were trying to say however the specific term is being deliberately used out of context to infer a totally different meaning. That folks would so easily fall for the way the words are being redefined, without picking up on the context switch, is actually the scary part to me as it highlights how susceptible we all are to eating somebody else's garbage.

    The particular wording of "behavioral modification" as a description of a teachoing technique is also disturbing to me-that sounds like therapy, something that belongs outside of a school setting. Much of the social conservative platform disturbs me and is ridiculous, but in this instance, they are just saying things in a way that opened them up for critique, making them crappy at communication, thus likely incompetent at other things as well.
    Conservative groups of the evangelical christian variety (especially in Texas) have been waging war against OBE for a long time because, for them, OBE = multicultural/PC/vegetarian/socialist/homosexual/deviant sexuality/anti-christian/pro-atheist/pro-muslim/immoral agenda. I don't think they misused their words here...I think they really are that ridiculous and they deserve to be ridiculed.

    Even if OBE really is detrimental to students (in real ways, of course, not the made-up paranoid ideations of the religious right) and should be eliminated, that's not why these people want it eliminated. They made their motivations and goals very explicitly clear, and have been doing so for a long time (Texas appointing christian nutbags like David Barton to their BOE, Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum, all that shit spewed by James Dobson...there are so many, and you can find them here if you're interested), so I don't know what there is to be misinterpreted.

    Actually, we all know that any defense of this nonsense is just coming from people who sympathize with their agenda but don't want to be associated with such up-front stupidity, so this is all kind of useless to say.
    Artes, Scientia, Veritasiness

  3. #123

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    So I have been trying to track down what OBE, HOTS, actually are.

    "Critical thinking" will get too much interference from the normal use of that phrase, so I didn't bother actually tracking this down.

    OBE
    OBE, I believe is older than HOTS. But the most neutral sounding thing I found on it was the wikipedia article. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outcome-based_education) As far as wikipedia articles go, this one is not in great shape.

    Also, some of the criticisms of OBE date back to 1993, so I have the impression that OBE is older than HOTS. The fact that the Texas GOP calls HOTS a "repackaging" of OBE, lends credence to the idea that OBE is older.

    So I shift my focus to that, because, that is, ultimately, what the Texas GOP opposes...

    HOTS
    Definitely, more "raw" information that can be easily found about HOTS.
    Here is the wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higher_...hinking_skills
    It is so innocuous, that the dispute is whether the article should be merged with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higher-order_thinking, which seems to pretty close to the same subject.

    The main point of the article is that it is based off of Bloom's Taxonomy of learning objectives.

    There is also a company selling software:
    http://www.hots.org/index.html

    If you look through the list of games they have, they include the old games I used to play like "Oregon Trail" and "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?"

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  4. #124
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    HOTS
    Definitely, more "raw" information that can be easily found about HOTS.
    Here is the wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higher_...hinking_skills
    It is so innocuous, that the dispute is whether the article should be merged with http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higher-order_thinking, which seems to pretty close to the same subject.

    The main point of the article is that it is based off of Bloom's Taxonomy of learning objectives
    I looked into one of the websites for a "clarification" of what they were going for that came from Wiki. They are going to be stuck with a ton of these "typos" until 2014.

    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmem...ing_skills.php

    So they "clarified" the Critical Thinking part and that they are going against OBE, HOTS, and similar programs. I'm ok of them opposing those programs.... okay!

    But this

    “I think the intent is that the Republican Party is opposed to the values clarification method that serves the purpose of challenging students beliefs and undermine parental authority,” he said.
    Still gives me headaches.

    So I looked into Values Clarification and found these:
    http://www.smartrecovery.org/resourc...rification.pdf
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Value_%...nd_cultural%29

    That still does NOT add up. It stills give me the interpretation that the platform does not want the kids to think for themselves. Essentially, they want their kids to think like they do, not what the own kid thinks.

    The only word I can think of right now is indoctrination.
    Last edited by Rail Tracer; 06-30-2012 at 03:03 PM.

  5. #125
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Honestly, there's really no point in looking up these definitions because there is no truth to find there. There is a massive cognitive dissonance in the philosophy of evangelical Christians. They really, really want to look legitimate to the rest of the world, but what they believe is insane, so they do their best to dress up their beliefs to give themselves the appearance of legitimacy. They're throwing around terms they don't really understand to "sound smart". The very things they accuse "liberals", everyone who isn't an evangelical, of doing is actually what they do.
    "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."

  6. #126

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    It is interesting that people have different notions of what critical thinking is.

    I am still in the process of trying to find out what the legitimate problems with Mastery Learning, Outcome Based Education, and Higher Order Thinking Skills. This is a real practical problem for me because I am now a teacher of sorts. (A teaching assistant, but I still view it as teaching).

    Having read what the aims of these programs are from as close to primary sources as I can, I am not sure what the issues are. (The link that @Beefeater provided was not a primary source, and states things like "Math is not a team sport" and "Math is an individual sport"... as someone with a Math degree, I find this troubling. Math, like many other human activities, can be done alone and in a group).

    In fact, a lot of the other education research I read would point to the ideas that Mastery Learning espoused actually being a good thing.

    Not only that, my students said they would like "Study Advice" from me in the hand outs I give them.

    I started thinking about what that would be, and how it is I went from being a mediocre student to someone with three degrees, and 4.0 GPA in a PhD program.

    Interestingly, a lot of what I was going to tell them (without knowing specifically about Benjamin Bloom and Mastery Learning) would have been very similar to what he espoused...Including active reading and predicting what is going to be written. The sentence, "Reading a textbook is not about looking at every word, but rather understanding what is written, what the consequences are, how the material challenges your thinking." was something I had already wanted to put in my next discussion handout before I even knew about this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mia. View Post
    Yeah and you don’t either, given OBE uses students as guinea pigs in a vast social experiment, and OBE advocates are not able to produce any replicable research or pilot studies to show that it works. OBE is being forced on entire state school systems without any evidence that it has been tried anywhere and found effective. The best test of an OBE-type system was Chicago's experiment in the 1970s with Professor Benjamin Bloom's Mastery Learning (ML), which is essentially the same as OBE. ML was a colossal failure and was abandoned in disgrace in 1982. The test scores proved to be appallingly low and the illiteracy rate became a national scandal. Bloom, the father of ML, is well known for his statement that "the purpose of education is to change the thoughts, feelings and actions of students." Hmm. In addition to producing a nation of morons academically…. sounds like teaching values to me. But then again, I’m thinking critically.
    People are entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts. It seems like you got this information from this website: http://www.ourcivilisation.com/dumb/dumb3.htm
    Where the author states:
    The best test of an OBE-type system was Chicago's experiment in the 1970s with Professor Benjamin Bloom's Mastery Learning (ML), which is essentially the same as OBE. ML was a colossal failure and was abandoned in disgrace in 1982. The test scores proved to be appallingly low and the illiteracy rate became a national scandal. Bloom, the father of ML, is well known for his statement that "the purpose of education is to change the thoughts, feelings and actions of students." (All Our Children Learning, page 180.)
    Note that this is not a primary source, and the author does not cite where she got the information that "Mastery Learning was abandoned in disgrace". In fact, many of the places on the web that state that this happened, seem to be quoting her directly (as you seemed to as well). Why would you chose to get your "facts" from a website that has a clear agenda, does not cite sources for the controversial points, etc? What is funny is that she simultaneously claims that ML was abandoned, but also spread across the nation.

    I had run across the Phyllis Schlafly report (the one I believe you "quoted") during my early attempt at tracking down facts, but it is not easy to find any evidence that Chicago "abandoned" Mastery Learning "in disgrace." There are some interesting debates on standardized tests favoring more rote methods over deeper ones for test scores, and other such things. I think it is an interesting debate, but perhaps rather off topic. In fact, almost all the primary souces of studies I found on mastery learning were positive.

    I also found this:
    http://www.education.com/reference/a...tery-learning/
    Note one big difference from the Schlafly report--Sources to back up "facts", and a list of the actual sources at the end.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  7. #127
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Honestly, there's really no point in looking up these definitions because there is no truth to find there. There is a massive cognitive dissonance in the philosophy of evangelical Christians. They really, really want to look legitimate to the rest of the world, but what they believe is insane, so they do their best to dress up their beliefs to give themselves the appearance of legitimacy. They're throwing around terms they don't really understand to "sound smart". The very things they accuse "liberals", everyone who isn't an evangelical, of doing is actually what they do.
    Yeah, which is why they come off as not only insane but deeply paranoid, too, because they project their own shitty motivations onto everyone else, producing the mindset that librul phantoms are waiting to spring at them around every corner.

    Evangelicals by and large have a unique blend of authoritarian personality and pathological narcissism which, if not experienced directly, perhaps cannot be fully understood by casual observers.
    Artes, Scientia, Veritasiness

  8. #128
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    Why is this a surprise to anyone? It's Texas!

  9. #129
    Rainy Day Woman MDP2525's Avatar
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    Is this really going to have an impact? It's not like most adults have critical thinking skills as it is. So what's half of zero again?

    ~luck favors the ready~


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  10. #130
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    Actually, we all know that any defense of this nonsense is just coming from people who sympathize with their agenda but don't want to be associated with such up-front stupidity, so this is all kind of useless to say.
    I may be misreading you, but just to clarify were you were not referring to motives of individuals in this thread such as myself were you?

    Growing up in rural Texas and not being a member of a church automatically made me an outcast in many ways. At my high school popularity was not simply about how you dressed or who you knew, but it also encompassed what church you went to. It was just another aspect of not belonging.

    As I have gotten old and wrinkly, surrounded by evangelical christians in Texas, I respect their right to have their beliefs just as I respect the right of an atheist to have thier beliefs. It really isnt any of my business what they believe-as long as they are not hurting other people with those beliefs via thier actions. Yes, evangelicals belive all types of crazy shit, but so do hindus, muslims, buddhists, and atheists. The world is full of crazy, stupid, intentionally oblivious people who dont want to listen to the views of another person, once they have decided on a belief system. *shrugs*

    In this instance, they as a group stated a value based stance regrading HOTS, OBD and "critical thinking" and then got flamed in an apparently irrational way as part of a political flame war-thus my innate stance will be to subtract values altogether and look at the evidence in front of me on the topic and make the decsion by myself, for myself on the topic based upon data and as unbaised a source as I can find. Irrational flaming is irrational. Irrational values are irrational. Overt dismissal of a person's value stance just because it doesnt match one's own is irrational. Thoughtful inquiery, as @ygolo presents, seems suitable and appropriate.

    Perhaps the better question-is it the role of the teacher to influence one's values, in the name of thier own values, under the guise of learning to think critically? I think that is the real concern that is being expressed. Is school the best place to address/change/morph values? Is the purpose of the classroom to mold students into the type of person one should be in society or is to impart knowledge to prepare one for a career? It appears the HOTS/OBD programs are being accused of trying to impart values but sacrificing educational quality at the same time.

    When I was in high school I most certainly felt the teachers, evangelical cristians , influence the values discussion to a significant extent, under the pretence of imparting knowledge. In college, the professors would sway towards the more libral bent and try and influence values in the other direction, again under the guise of imparting knowledge. Both groups exploited the role of the "authority" to place social pressures upon kids in thier classes to follow thier value based belief. As an enfp, this crap was obvious and totally unaffective, but I think it can be very effective on other people.

    So the evangelical republicans are pissed that somebody else is attempting to alter the moral values of their children under the guise of "teaching", even though they do the same shit when given the chance. *shrugs/yawns*

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