Mandatory Critical Thinking Classes Please!
Critical Thinking classes should be mandatory for all schools, starting at an early grade. Right now the top four mandatory subject categories are Math, Science, English, and Social Studies. Five if you include Physical Education. All important, of course.
Critical thinking is, however, equally as important as any of these others. Currently it is only taught at higher level education, usually as an elective. Because it is placed on such a low priority for most education systems, irrationality runs rampant. People are unable to discern propaganda, bias, distortion, and misinformation from the truth. They are unable to analyze information provided to them, no matter how skewed the information is.
And many of these people are intelligent in every other topic. Because it is not a requirement for most majors, a person can run the gamut of courses and entirely miss a single course on critical thinking.
There is a reason people believe in things such as alien abduction, big foot, homeopathy, conspiracy theories, horoscopes, the nonsense purported in chain emails, and so on. Smart people! They just were never taught how to disseminate, analyze, and scrutinize information given to them. They were never shown how to discern fallacies, how to question their own thinking, and the basics of language based logic. They were never informed of standards to acquire knowledge and why some standards are more consistent and reliable than others.
The lack of critical thinking skills does not just lead to benign thought, but thought that derives ones philosophical, ethical, and political viewpoints. Critical thinking not only benefits the student, but also the community at large. For a democracy, critical thought affects our policies and practices. What we support and do not support.
The education system, in the U.S. at least, is riddled with problems. This is just one example of one of those problems that has huge implications.
What do you think? Should such courses be mandatory? Let me know why or why not in the comments below. :)
Sorry I have not posted in a while. Had a big move from the US to Canada and my scanner died as well. Now that I am relocated and I have a new scanner I will hopefully have some time to doodle, ramble, and post. In the meantime here is a ‘lil doodle I whipped up:
Don’t forget to visit my site at www.TrickSlattery.com.