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Critical Education: Andrew Delbanco in The New York Review of Books

What exactly is critical thinking? There's a Wikipedia entry that suggests an approach to understanding the matter, but it's written at a fairly high level of abstraction. What it boils down to in my view is a corrective for the natural virtuosity at self-justification that accompanies average-to-superior intelligence. Most of "what stands to reason" generally doesn't, for the simple reason that reason hasn't been applied.

In The New York Review of Books, Andrew Delbanco reviews six books about the "Scandals of Higher Education." Which is worse, madly skewed admissions policy or the failure to educate the lucky ones who get in?

This week's Friday Front.

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Comments

re education system today, i was volunteering to assist migrants in the ESOL program at a local elementary school, telling grampa chuck stories i mentioned some folks go to heaven others go to hell and then responding to a question about tatoos, i said, my gdghtr has a butterfly on her butt, i guess kids repeated this to parents who complained and i was asked to go home and stay there, cheeez, give me a break, sad

Chuck, how nice to hear from you again. Don't feel too bad The Assemblies of God dropped me as a Sunday school teacher when I cautioned a chronic clown to stop acting like an asshole while we were discussing The Song of Solomon. Failure to educate is venial sin compared to the failure to generate a love of learning which is a true mortal sin. Now with the last child in the sixth grade I am exposed everyday to the "no child left behind" mentality in the government schools which leads to more "teaching to the tests" than I care for in most cases. There are blessedly in some cases teachers in my son's school who do inspire him to exercise his mind and do move him along the path that develops critical thinking but far too many seem to be just punching the clock and trying to make sure that they achieve their production quota on the next standardized test.

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