michael coogias

To never stop thinking about everything and learning,

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implementing critical thinking into school

would like a program in schools that teach how to be an effective thinker which would help the way kids understand different courses of education across the board and to know how to ask the right questions to a problem to better solve them. I believe if you implement critical thinking then the next generation of youth will be a much brighter generation and the possibility of greater future will me much greater then if that don't learn the basic skill of thinking and feel it is an extremely important trait that we need much more of

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    Jun 23 2012: Critical thinking is less suitably a program, I think, than a pervasive atmosphere that schools must promote. It would be a great relief if the broader institutions of our lives would accept critical thinking as well! Too many situations are about the selling of ideas, the battle to win regardless of the strength of argument, using charisma to convince people to follow rather than think for themselves...
    To be fair, I think every teacher credentialing program, every set of State standards, every school district administration would put forward developing critical thinking as a primary focus of curriculum and instruction. It's not a novel idea.
    Where there is variation of opinion is mainly in the mixture of activities within curriculum that is optimal for cultivating critical thinking within and across subject areas and in a generic way so as to be able to transfer to applications in everyday life.
    Progress will come not from singing the critical thinking song to the choir but in taking the widespread acceptance of this idea as a given and moving into careful monitoring and comparison of successful practices in play in schools. For example, everyone at this point knows the usefulness of posing complex questions without clear and right answers, promoting discourse among students rather than truths delivered top down, engaging kids in authentic inquiry (such as projects) that require them to think critically about the information they have and need and the vaildity or bias in the sources they find, and so forth. This is all well understood in the discipline. What is less decided is how much factual content is needed to provide a fundamental basis in various disciplines, how much interdisciplinary inquiry is vital, how much independent versus collaborative work is instructive, how to accomodate and tap into students different experiences and strengths, and how to assess progress in a formative way so the instruction can be altered mid-stream to better meet needs.
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    Jul 20 2012: Having students witness or even participate by submitting or voting on questions to a Tribunal Convention as provided in Tribunocracy (a new variant in the democratic election process see: www.tribunocracy.org ) would encourage critical thinking.
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    Jul 11 2012: Education today is dominated by examinations. Teachers are rushing through the curriculum and students and parents focus only on 'exam preparation' . A smattering of excursions, debates, displays are done only to tick off boxes rather than teach students critical thinking. We need to start teaching our children to critically think for themselves rather than give them ready made solutions.
  • Jul 6 2012: I do believe it should be implemented into all schools.I have taken some kind critical thinking class in high school to help me improve my learning ,as an elective . Honestly ,I don't like the current education system . In class I feel my college classmates get upset or complain of the teacher if they don't teach it in a certain way. "Just tell me what I need to know to pass the test," not caring for the reason why the material is important. Students are being programmed to think one way, which to me it is not learning.Just recently Texas Republicans want to Ban Critical Thinking in Public Schools because it causes "behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority." To me it sounds like they want mind control, it might sound over the top,but its true."Do not ask questions! This is the way it is , because that's the way it has always been done!" Where is the progress? What happen to educating the younger generation for a better future.We all have heard the saying "Knowledge is power "and "knowing is half the battle" ,so if the people aren't getting a proper education then we will always be subordinate.Not only that , but Texas wanting to alter the history of textbooks and the curriculum for a political agenda scares me.
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    Jun 28 2012: Michael, I fully agree with your idea and it would be helpful to some to get it taught directly instead of more beeing a byproduct within the process of learning itself.

    But there is a difference in between 'critikal thinking' and 'methodical thinking', in which the last helps you to solve a problem by splitting it up, how to spilt it, or to compare it with something already known.

    'Critical thinking' instead is to learn how to question things and how to reason about them.

    Both tools, if applied propperly, or applied at all, will lead to a better future. No doubt about it. Unfortunately the 'critical thinking' is not in favour of a view, yet quite influencing parties and therefore not always freely supported nor welcomed at any time.

    My vote you have on this!
  • Jun 24 2012: The world is becoming too complex for our education system. If we add critical thinking, what do we take out to make room for it?

    I was not taught anything about how to study and learn until I reached high school, in part because there had not been any good research into the subject until then.

    I think the first thing we should teach children is how to learn. When should you listen, and when should you question? What makes a question good? How to take notes. Critical thinking should be introduced early, as part of this, as well as be part of the "pervasive atmosphere." In addition, aspects of critical thinking should be specifically taught. A lot of what I learned in a college logic class could have been taught and learned in elementary school, such as how to build a good argument, and how to tell when a seemingly logical argument is really appealing to emotions. In the USA we can vote for president at the age of 18; we should be taught how to critically digest the issues before that age.
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    Jun 23 2012: Science class is the class to teach the scientific method not in any other class to think otherwise is illogical.

    Now for extra credit which one of you Spock type fellers can tell me what aspect of everyone's daily life is a manifestation of logic? Hint it is not considered to be any part of logic yet it is. Anyone bold enough to risk not being "right"?

    Hmm everyone afraid of being wrong? or just not interested?

    Something that is a part of everyone's life but also not a part of their normal everyday functions (like open a door or think logically).
    • Jun 24 2012: Unfortunately, I think logically, so if I do not consider it to be any part of logic, I would not consider it as a manifestation of logic.

      Right now, my entry level job has a skill set that most fourth graders could manage, and the main challenge is just staying awake. Except for here at TED, I could go for days without using logic.
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      Jun 28 2012: Ok, what's the credit?

      Even without pointy ears you would open a closed door before entering a room or building. May this be in sake of your forehead, in sake of the doors perfectly new paint finish or just out of good old fashion, habit or painful toddler experience.

      Whatever reason you prefer to choose, the moment you open that very door your action becomes logical in its most brightest and even sparkling manifestation. Awareness is no requirement for logic to act upon it.

      Avoid logic for one day on purpose and you better get your helmet out!

      Awaiting the extra ...

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    Jun 22 2012: Mike, I think we do to some extent. The scientific approach, higher math, chemistry, all required some degree of critical thinking. The problem is that we do it where it is required as part of the process. We do not do it in areas where is should be required. Our government class are a acculumation of knowledge. Test and grade to the required state and federal standard and never visit it again. This is the ideal class to tear it apart, challenge it, defend it, work out todays problems to a reasonable conclusion. That would be application. This will never happen under Sec of Ed Arne Duncan, he proposed socialized education where the government writes all text, syllabus, tests, grades all tests, and develops all curriculum.

    This is not just a school thing. Parents are teachers too. Kids should be taught to find the best deals in cars, grocery, tires, etc ... They need to learn to question, evaluate, and come to conclusions based on their examination of the issue not to accept the "party platform" blindly as sheeple, TV ads, unions, or even their buddies word for it.

    Thanks for letting me rant. All the best. Bob.
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    Jun 22 2012: Idea is good......but if including in current schooling system "Critical Thinking" might suffer critically.....
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    Jun 22 2012: I personally love the idea. I already do it. I'm smart enough not to ask complicated questions when I know my teachers don't know a thing about the topic. I'm sure if all students could go through a critical thinking process, they would be smart enough to do that as well.
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      Jun 22 2012: You have revealed an inherent difficulty with implementing Mr. Coogias' idea, namely, who will teach Critical Thinking? I doubt that a teaching certificate requires significant, if any, hours of training in the subject. The implementation would need to begin in the curriculums of our colleges and universities.
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        Jun 22 2012: If the student's are already smart, they will use critical thinking on their own.
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        Jun 23 2012: Beats me.
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    Jun 22 2012: Terrible idea. Students might start asking hard questions.

    Questions about everything including cultural gods, the political system, the whole status quo might be challenged. They might even start demanding evidence for economic policies, going to war etc.
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      Jun 22 2012: Exactly. We need them to be indoctrinated automatons that are happy with their lot in life. If they question anything it would ruin it for everyone else and the whole educational system would be at risk. We must maintain the system because otherwise there would be chaos (sarcasm).
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        Jun 22 2012: I can't tell which of you two is the sunset and the sunrise?

        Linda it will be ok as long as you don't run out of Soma
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        Jun 23 2012: Does that make Linda the sunset? (8^(l)
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    Jun 22 2012: Good point. It has to be about application to me this is really how to use the scientific method in the every day world and really using this discipline as it is life changing.