Thought Provoking Article: Teaching About Thinking; Thinking About Teaching: Why Teaching "Facts" Is Not Enough

Too often I reflect - trying to understand my teaching and life philosophy. I am asked why I write this blog - I realize and understand very few actually read the posts. Many of these posts range from completely silly, to student nominated videos that make you ask really why did I waste my click, to occasionally self indulgent rants - but these posts help organize my thoughts and make me a better thinker, educator, and person.

This Thought Provoking Article: "Teaching About Thinking; Thinking About Teaching:  Why Teaching "Facts" Is Not Enough" - examines the key concept I harp on continuously in education - the need to help students read, write, and think critically and independently.

As the article states in an excerpt:
"It is also important to recognize that fostering understanding is not something to be done only for high school students, only for affluent suburban school students, or only for students who have already learned all their facts or who have received good grades in fact-memorizing courses. Fostering understanding can be done, and needs to be done, from the earliest possible ages, with students from almost any background. Teaching for understanding works with young children as well as older children, for students with poor grades as well as students with good grades, for inner city or rural students as well as those in the suburbs. Kindergarten students can figure out all kinds of interesting things for themselves if they are asked the right questions. I have taught philosophy courses to students at the University of Michigan, which is an academically highly selective school, and I have taught it at a rural community college in Alabama and an inner city community college in Alabama. The students in both community schools were every bit as good as the students in the Michigan courses; the inner city black students were superior, in doing introductory philosophy, to the Michigan students. The ability to think and reason well is not relegated to just students who can get good grades in typical school courses or who can memorize material. One of my inner city students had terrible grades in his career up to that point but was, I thought, extremely perceptive, intelligent, reasonable, and knowledgeable. I sent him over to interview with professors from a regionally prestigious and selective university and asked them to ignore his transcripts and just talk with him to see whether they would let him attend. They called back and said he was the most impressive student they had ever met. They accepted him."

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