26 June 2012

Who could be against critical thinking?

Who could be against critical thinking? It has been the greatest tool for progress, both intellectual and economic, the world has ever known. It’s like being against motherhood. Who could be against that?

The Republican Party of Texas.

Seriously, really, it’s part of their party platform. Look on page 12.

Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

What makes this all the more jaw-dropping is this plank in their platform, just two points down:

Funding of Education – We urge the Legislature to direct expenditures to academics as the first priority.

“We want education! We just want it to be very bad education that can ensure our children are servile drones.”

My jaw is on the floor.

Additional, 29 June 2012: The Texas Freedom Network is reporting that that the Texas Republican Party is saying the plank was an “oversight.” SuuuUUUuuuuure.

They’re still worried, though, about education that “serves the purpose of challenging students beliefs and undermine parental authority.” I think any decent education challenges beliefs and undermines authority. It is kind of the entire point of education to make people into autonomous individuals who are able to navigate the world around them independently.

Spotted at I’m Not Really Here.

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