My response to Charles Blow’s recent piece in The New York Times regarding the Common Core standards.

Teaching to another test? No thank you, but I do agree that we have to focus on showing our children how to think critically. That starts at home. 

Children are naturally inquisitive and we have to help hone their thought processes and encourage them to keep asking questions. Unfortunately we live in a society that indulges the consumerism aspects of technology while showing no intellectual interest in the science of what is around us.

Critical thinking won’t start in the classroom until we get past the barrier of stifling critical thinking at home.

Here is a link to his article

About Alton Drew

Alton Drew brings a straight forward and insightful brand of political market intelligence. Alton Drew graduated from the Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in economics and political science (1984); a Master of Public Administration (1993); and a Juris Doctor (1999). You can also follow Alton Drew on Twitter @altondrew.
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One Response to My response to Charles Blow’s recent piece in The New York Times regarding the Common Core standards.

  1. Ken Ciszewski says:

    “One strategy of changing our direction as a nation is the adoption of Common Core
    State Standards, meant to teach children the skills they need to be successful in college
    and careers — skills like critical thinking and deep analysis”

    “Children are naturally inquisitive and we have to help hone their thought processes and encourage them to keep asking questions. ”

    “Critical thinking won’t start in the classroom until we get past the barrier of stifling critical thinking at home.”

    I agree that children tend to be naturally inquisitive, and we need to encourage that. That said, I’m not sure that it’s going to be easy to teach critical thinking and deep analysis to every child. In my experience, some people are very strong in these areas, some do OK, and some don’t have a clue. I’m not trying to denigrate anyone for whatever abilities they may not have, but I think we need to recognize that each person is born with different abilities and aptitudes, but few of us are strong in every cognitive ability.

    It’s my understanding that most educators know what a normal distribution (bell curve) is. There is some empirical evidence that things like intelligence are distributed according to the normal distribution. Even if that’s not fully correct, it’s obvious that different people have different levels of intelligence and different aptitudes and abilities.

    I think we would be better off to do some aptitude testing that helps us understand the different abilities that each of us has, and find a way to help them maximize those abilities, while doing our best to shore up any weaknesses, realizing that not everyone can do everything well.

    This would require us to get away from the present system of education, which tries to teach each student, for the most part, the same material in the same way it teaches every other student. It’s a little bit like mass manufacturing, as I see it, when it should be more like custom job shop work. The use of computer-aided learning could be a big help in doing this.

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