Critical Thinking In High School

Critical Thinking In High School-32
Even when people possess the knowledge they need to think critically about a particular question, they generally don’t apply it.To counteract that tendency, students need to engage in critical thinking so often it becomes a habit.Inquiry-based or project-based learning, when students work independently or in small groups without much guidance, sound appealing but can result in a waste of precious time.

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That means schools need to do more than implement a one-semester program or an online game.

If we want to maximize the chances of producing responsible voters, critical thinking needs to be woven through every aspect of the curriculum, beginning in the early grades.

As far back as 1983, a government report lamented that many high school students lacked “higher order intellectual skills.” That led to a proliferation of programs designed to teach critical thinking, including one that sold over 70,000 teacher guides.

By 1990, most states had launched such initiatives.

Still, the more knowledge that people acquire about the world, the better their chances of having the knowledge they'll need to evaluate the claims that come up in political debate.

So the first step is for schools to ensure they’re building students’ knowledge as effectively as possible. The elementary grades, where knowledge-building should begin, have been given over to reading and math, while the subjects most likely to build kids’ knowledge—history, science, and the arts—have almost disappeared.

And many students, like many adults, have shown a dismaying inability to distinguish reliable information from falsehoods.

Fake news may be a new concept, but we’ve been trying to boost critical thinking for decades—without much success.

It’s intimately bound up with knowledge of a particular topic.

The fact that students have learned to think critically about fantasy football or issues in student life doesn’t mean they’ll be able to transfer that learning to the political arena—for example, to evaluate assertions that a caravan of impoverished Latin American families is actually a George-Soros-financed gang of terrorists threatening to violently invade America.

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