Selective Critical Thinking in the Lone Star State

TEXAS HOLD ‘EM: Nothing new here but we had such a good laugh at the office that we had to share. Before giving you the goods, we (that is, Texas-raised Leonard) admits a huge edu-crush on TCEA which has provided amazing resources for us to share in the past; so let’s not confuse practice with politics. The 2012 Texas GOP Official Platform committee, however, must have had one helluva time drafting this document. Depending on your views, you’ll agree with some points and disagree with others, but a couple of items on page 12 really have us wrinkling our noses.

On controversial theories: “We support objective teaching and equal treatment of all sides of scientific theories... Teachers and students should be able to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these theories openly and without fear of retribution or discrimination of any kind.”

But on knowledge-based learning: “We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs... [which] have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.”

It would seem these two statements present quite a struggle for science and humanities educators, so we’re going to go out on a limb and assume those DNC rabble rousers pulled the old switcharoo.

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