Friday, October 19, 2012

Fear is an effective bait for conservative positions. Our children deserve better!

Definitely the very sensible position you would hope more of us would have, and take, for our students; which is what makes the GOP's stance of eliminating methods for encouraging critical thinking from our Texas Public Schools so utterly devastating. As if our school system isn't already backwards and devastated enough as the 27th worse ranked in the nation.  :-(
(Further exacerbated by the fact the U.S. is already ranked 28th in the world!)

To summarize the GOP's position within the formal 2012 Platform, they recently published back in August; it states (and I'm paraphrasing):
"Critical thinking skills can serve as nothing more than a "behavior modification"; having the potential of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs."  The fear the GOP then further encourage parents to consider and adopt, is the idea that a student who is encouraged to "challenge their current fixed beliefs", will then become a student which will ultimately wish to "undermine parental authority."

Fear, is always such a wonderful bait for conservative positions, isn't it?  Sad...  :-(  So ironic, to encourage parents to, "fear the undermining of parental authority"; in order to encourage the blind allegiance of those who are susceptible to such fears, as they seek comfort through conformity and party loyalty.  Offer them fear of their own children's advancement and ability to think with critical pragmatism, so you can in turn corral those who have lost the very same ability by believing such nonsense.  So poor kids, never had a chance.

My first thought when I read the GOP 2012 published Platform was; how in the world would ANYONE feel it is healthy to encourage a young, student to simply conform to their own current level of "fixed beliefs"?!  I mean we're talking about a growing, living, young, students. Isn't the whole point, to encourage them to see who they might become; versus stagnating, right where they are or where they can be held back to conform to be.  Very sad.  Very telling of our countries decline in education and worldwide competitiveness. Shameful...

We must find inspirations and hope from speakers like Sir Ken Robinson:
In order to cope with the current disastrous leadership we are witnessing within our own political landsacape, which forces us towards "conservative" positions, at a time when radical changes are so desperately needed. (RSAnimate Productions are always enjoyable to watch as well: (Same speaker, different speech.) )

Regardless of how some choose to sugar coat the GOP's current 2012 Platform of the State's 2013 goals for our school's curriculum; (or how some attempt to more narrowly point to curriculum's associated with Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) & Outcome-Based Education (OBE)); the discouragement to teach skills related to establishing knowledge, comprehension & application; represents one of the scariest versions of continuing to limit our countries potential by forever limiting our students thought processes and/or ability to learn and think for themselves.

Many GOP supporters of such limiting "traditional" teaching methods, will simply tell you there is no modern mechanism for empirically measuring a students performance when they are offered any form of objective learning skills; therefore we must stick to age old  methods focused on rote learning and memorization.  Such as the dependency on flash cards and word memorization and spelling exercises in order to teach a language  versus any newer approaches of "Whole Language" instructive techniques focus on meaning and strategy instruction. The list goes one as to the nature of limits presented and maintained in every subject of elementary and secondary education.

You can read the platforms full report, in it's entirety, for yourself at the following link:  (Go to page 12, the section on "Knowledge-Based Education")
In contrast here is the Democratic Platform:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.