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Debate Score:15
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 Critical Thinking and Citizenship (11)

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Critical Thinking and Citizenship

This question is primarily pointed towards those living in America.


John Stewart of The Daily Show recently pointed out that there seems to be a tragic disconnect between conservative pundit Greschen Carlson's apparent "dumbness" and her academic history. He noted that she has a fertile academic record and speculated that she might be playing stupid to appease the viewers of her programming. But I use Greschen Carlson, not necessarily because she *appears* to be stupid, but because she exemplifies a growing dearth of critical thinking, not only in the American polity and consequent politics, but in the American public as well--as well as a need to appease this lack of critical thinking.


The pedagogical approach of the general American school system up to the undergraduate lelvel has played a major role in this, especially as academics has increasingly concentrated on facts as they pertain to test taking and little else. Democracy thrives on an educated population, but not one that simply knows facts, but one that can critially think about these facts and make historical and analytical connections between them. To the question: should critical thinking take a more prestigious place in academic curricula, and if so, what might it do for citizens and their participation in a functioning Liberal Democracy like America?

 

 

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It never ceases to amaze me how liberals think of themselves as intellectuals. And yet, when given the chance to

implement their views, this is what we end up with:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hhJ_49leBw&feature;=topvideos

2 points

Regardless of pollitical stance , all political parties , once in power , pull this same card of shitting on the people who pay for their pollitical arses to exist. The pollies always seem to do alright , regardless of societies sufferings. While they promise answeres to situations that affect us , they do not go without the comforts that the people of their countries lack. Even in countries where the waters arent safe to drink , the pollies still get to quench their thirst with safe clean water. It doesnt really make sense , or perhaps it does , if we think more deeply about it ,about this clearly unbalanced equaqality of rights , between the governments and us .

jep93(17) Disputed
1 point

lol which is why we have a two party system where compromise creates a balanced and, usually, prosperous result. Unfortunately, conservatives are no better when given their unhindered chance to shine.

jessald(1915) Disputed
0 points

That video is mostly bs and has very little to do with the current discussion.

Hmmm..., interesting. Why is it that ANY video that shows a view different than yours it is considered "mostly BS" but ANY video that supports your world view is considered, "Gospel?" ;)

Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth... more than ruin... more even than death.... Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid.

So to address the question... yes, it should take a bigger place in our academics... but I believe a social reform is necessary to make that possible. A reform that will discourage the fear of unfamiliar, "evil" ideas... and encourage free thought.

You are correct... a democracy functions better through an enlightened, knowledgeable and thinking electorate... so there's another reason thought should be encouraged.

Side: people are afraid of thought
1 point

Yes that is of course the ideal. However, in an educational system that tries to give everyone a chance to receive a high school diploma a thought provoking and higher level curriculum is just not possible. Let's take my classes for example, I am in all APs, which is Advanced Placement for those who are not still in high school, and that means that if I pass an exam at the end of the year I get college credit. This also means that in order to prepare me to pass this academically rigourous test that is equivilant to a college exam my teachers must make me think about the subject analytically. I cannot just memorize facts but must also be able to explain the how and the why. So in this fashion, mine and my fellow classmates' education is up to par with the standards you want for the country. However, this is not the case for all the other students of my school and that is an issue of funding and for some of my peers, simply intelligence.

Side: people are afraid of thought

People who are incapable of critical thinking should be shot. I mran, it's not like they're using their brain... well... they aren't putting their brain to good use..., so as far as I'm concerned they are brain dead and so why keep them around? ;)

Side: people are afraid of thought
0 points

I'm not sure there's really a link between anti-intellectualism and standardized testing. I think anti-intellectualism comes mainly from clinging to religion as science pushes it out of government.

I also doubt it's true that people do less critical thinking now than they did in the past. I think you may be looking at history through rose-colored glasses.

I agree that encouraging critical thinking would be good, but that's a really hard thing to test. How do you know who's doing it right? The only way I can think of is to have an army of intelligent evaluators, like they do for AP essays. That, of course, would cost a whole lot of money. Where is that money going to come from?

Side: meh