Friday, April 13, 2007

Critical Thinking and the First Amendment.

Click here to comment and take the poll

The links are all posted to the right of the poll!


7 comments:

Superfly said...

Why do all these links take me to the DoE outlook express email login page? I copied and pasted into my browser, but you might consider repairing that...

"American society is based on a democratic foundation," Bristle said. "In order to teach students to function in it, teachers must be free to engage in conversation with students, so students learn how to think critically on issues and so become proficient voters in society.
"If teachers fear they will be fined or lose their jobs by encouraging critical thinking about social issues, the result will be teachers shying away from ever encouraging such discussion."
-Daily Miner

The Daily Miner article also went on to say that it is the responsibility of the parents to influence their child's political leanings. How are these children to become well-rounded individuals and experience all sides of an issue if debate of issues is not only discouraged, but illegal and looked upon as morally reprehensible in school? Where else would this sort of open forum conversation go on, how could it go on at all, if it is not first done and learned in schools? Where on earth are we living that a bill like this could be approved?? Goodness, Mr. Brown would be SOOOO fired and I am mad now that I missed this class discussion. This bill is not only taking the voices from educators and violating their human rights, but it is denying students essential skills: critical thinking being the foremost one.
Additionally, in reference to the two articles linked in the yourhub.com blog entry, Freedom of Speech Unless You Teach, parents get upset when you teach evolution, others get upset when you challenge it. Should we ignore it altogether, have people go about never questioning their world or existence? So long as the teacher is allowing all sides of an issue to be explored (and it seems like he is) and the students are arriving at their own conclusions about these issues, what are the parents crying about? It’s not even so much about the issues being discussed, in his seventh grade classroom, it’s much more about imparting to the kids the skills they need to be able to be able to present and argument and defend it, while listening to and acknowledging other points of view. I don’t understand parents being upset to the extent that they want this man to lose his job over his teaching their children to think for themselves.

I’m currently reading the book Reading Lolita in Tehran (thanks Sam, for the recommendation!) and I’ve just finished up the bit where they put The Great Gatsby on trial. They literally put the book on trial (mind you this was done in a university), in Iran, during a time when the government was undergoing major changes and books considered “Western” or reflecting western ideals were being banned left and right and the morality police were out and about searching women and threatening to jail them for wearing pink socks or showing a stray strand of hair too provocatively; the whole nine yards. And still they were able to sit in a classroom and put The Great Gatsby on trial against the whole Islamic religion. She wasn’t even fired AND it was her very first semester teaching at the university.
So, now, here we are in America, in middle schools and high schools, and we can’t even challenge each other’s beliefs? We cannot even learn how to have an intelligent debate where all sides of an issue are heard?
What is this really about?

(PS: sorry about the topic jumps: I was reading and writing at the same time... Still really mad that I missed the class discussion!)

Anonymous said...

Taking the quote from Joanna I agree with both of them because we must be able to learn and to think in various different ways, the only difference is I think it should be done at an age where children are more able to think for themselves like kids in highschool. This is because these kids will understand more and will be able to question your teaching? I don't think a teacher should fear being fired for trying a new way to teach or if they have discussions about stuff we should know but they consider it taboo. The solution is to teach both sides of the story as it should be taught and parents will probably find a problem like Joanna said about evolution, but it sahould be understood nonetheless. I feel this is cencorship of a different kind. It could be more detramental to kids health if they do not learn to understand both sides of the stories and learn to value which one they believe in.
Michelle Asciote

Jay Mangubat said...

Why do all these links take me to the DoE outlook express email login page? I copied and pasted into my browser, but you might consider repairing that...

"American society is based on a democratic foundation," Bristle said. "In order to teach students to function in it, teachers must be free to engage in conversation with students, so students learn how to think critically on issues and so become proficient voters in society.
"If teachers fear they will be fined or lose their jobs by encouraging critical thinking about social issues, the result will be teachers shying away from ever encouraging such discussion."
-Daily Miner

The Daily Miner article also went on to say that it is the responsibility of the parents to influence their child's political leanings. How are these children to become well-rounded individuals and experience all sides of an issue if debate of issues is not only discouraged, but illegal and looked upon as morally reprehensible in school? Where else would this sort of open forum conversation go on, how could it go on at all, if it is not first done and learned in schools? Where on earth are we living that a bill like this could be approved?? Goodness, Mr. Brown would be SOOOO fired and I am mad now that I missed this class discussion. This bill is not only taking the voices from educators and violating their human rights, but it is denying students essential skills: critical thinking being the foremost one.
Additionally, in reference to the two articles linked in the yourhub.com blog entry, Freedom of Speech Unless You Teach, parents get upset when you teach evolution, others get upset when you challenge it. Should we ignore it altogether, have people go about never questioning their world or existence? So long as the teacher is allowing all sides of an issue to be explored (and it seems like he is) and the students are arriving at their own conclusions about these issues, what are the parents crying about? It’s not even so much about the issues being discussed, in his seventh grade classroom, it’s much more about imparting to the kids the skills they need to be able to be able to present and argument and defend it, while listening to and acknowledging other points of view. I don’t understand parents being upset to the extent that they want this man to lose his job over his teaching their children to think for themselves.

I’m currently reading the book Reading Lolita in Tehran (thanks Sam, for the recommendation!) and I’ve just finished up the bit where they put The Great Gatsby on trial. They literally put the book on trial (mind you this was done in a university), in Iran, during a time when the government was undergoing major changes and books considered “Western” or reflecting western ideals were being banned left and right and the morality police were out and about searching women and threatening to jail them for wearing pink socks or showing a stray strand of hair too provocatively; the whole nine yards. And still they were able to sit in a classroom and put The Great Gatsby on trial against the whole Islamic religion. She wasn’t even fired AND it was her very first semester teaching at the university.
So, now, here we are in America, in middle schools and high schools, and we can’t even challenge each other’s beliefs? We cannot even learn how to have an intelligent debate where all sides of an issue are heard?
What is this really about?

(PS: sorry about the topic jumps: I was reading and writing at the same time... Still really mad that I missed the class discussion!)

Taking the quote from Joanna I agree with both of them because we must be able to learn and to think in various different ways, the only difference is I think it should be done at an age where children are more able to think for themselves like kids in highschool. This is because these kids will understand more and will be able to question your teaching? I don't think a teacher should fear being fired for trying a new way to teach or if they have discussions about stuff we should know but they consider it taboo. The solution is to teach both sides of the story as it should be taught and parents will probably find a problem like Joanna said about evolution, but it sahould be understood nonetheless. I feel this is cencorship of a different kind. It could be more detramental to kids health if they do not learn to understand both sides of the stories and learn to value which one they believe in.
I had to agree what Michelle and Joanna said.

Zohra Ali said...

Sitting in college now English 101, I found a way to tie this article to my experience in the class. We were discussing language and the definition of it to us, then read pieces of work from different authors and the way they used language. As we were discussing the reasons behind why others use the language they do, our teacher decided she was going to play devils advocate. She kept belting out these sides of the issue that I wasn’t looking at and found myself siding with her at times. After the discussion I was influenced by what she said and found myself farther away from what I was thinking in the first place, and closer to her side of the argument. As soon as this happened I didn’t realize how much teachers have an effect on students by the way they discuss their opinions even playing devils advocate. If there was no devils advocate in play, I would have still been sitting in my seat thinking inside of the box and took a seat thinking there was nothing else to argue. If I hadn’t heard those sides of the story and if the teacher didn’t push me I wouldn’t have thought as much as I did and just stop before I could get my creative juices flowing. I agree with Michelle in the sense that if my teacher was fired to trying to make me think, then I think all teachers should just go on strike. it’s the teachers job to push students to think, be critical thinkers, and to go beyond what’s expected of them to know. If teachers push the limit on what they do in class such as have discussions that causes them to leave with a grey area of mystery its better than leaving class with an ignorance for a rebuttal. The job of schools, and teachers are to prepare students for the real world once they leave school. Even if the students go off to college, they will be forced to critically think, and have to be able to look at both sides of the issue rather than one. It’s a rational way of thinking, and discouraging teachers from helping students develop this ability is a shame on the department of educations part. It’s ridiculous that this law wants to be passed for high school students, and even college students because that’s the age group that comes closest to gracing the real world with their presence and if they aren’t ready to think for themselves and look at issued 3 dimensional its just as bad as encouraging bad behavior for students. In high school and college, students should be able to see the different side of stories in the world and know that things arent sugar coated or hidden from them. Why put another blindfold over the students eyes, when they are going to be breed to stand in a society of open free minded thinkers. Its just setting up students for a sad downfall of lack of self expression, dimension and self discovery. All the teachers in my past have made me who I am today, because they all have influenced my life in the sense of what I think, and what I stand for. They have not told me what to think but they have lead me in paths that are positive, and even if some of the paths I thought would have been wrong, I used my own self judgment for these, which I know I am able to do. It’s the job of a teacher to teach students, inspire them and most importantly influence them to think for themselves and more critically. For the board of education to shun thinking critically is a poor move on making a better and brighter future.

Edwin Genao said...

Judge Refuses to Dismiss Padilla Case

I think it's okay that Jose Padilla was in jail for those years. I always think that it would've been cool if they caught those people who flew the 2 planes on 9/11 so many people could've lived. I would not be easy on terrorists if I was in charge. I think we need to pay attention and be serious about this.
I also think Judge Marcia Cooke did the right thing by not dismissing the case. He should definitely be tried so we can find the truth.

Anonymous said...

My Dad is always telling me to save my money for college. He doesn't want to spend all my money. I think he is preparing me for my future. The lesson here is that you must prepare for the things you want. If you don't have enough money in the bank you shouldn't buy a horse. Too many people get in over their heads, then they lose their lose their houses and are in more debt than ever, that is not good at all. To me this is really scary. I am very happy that my parents made all the right choices and that I live in a nice house. I get really upset when I read the man got tortured. Torture is wrong. To give drugs to someone in jail is wrong especially LSD that is illegal the charges against him were serious though and I also can see what these people "enemy combatants" house to be handled seriously, there has to be another way to get the truth out of them.
Jay Manguabat

Anonymous said...

Why do all these links take me to the DoE outlook express email login page? I copied and pasted into my browser, but you might consider repairing that...

"American society is based on a democratic foundation," Bristle said. "In order to teach students to function in it, teachers must be free to engage in conversation with students, so students learn how to think critically on issues and so become proficient voters in society.
"If teachers fear they will be fined or lose their jobs by encouraging critical thinking about social issues, the result will be teachers shying away from ever encouraging such discussion."
-Daily Miner

The Daily Miner article also went on to say that it is the responsibility of the parents to influence their child's political leanings. How are these children to become well-rounded individuals and experience all sides of an issue if debate of issues is not only discouraged, but illegal and looked upon as morally reprehensible in school? Where else would this sort of open forum conversation go on, how could it go on at all, if it is not first done and learned in schools? Where on earth are we living that a bill like this could be approved?? Goodness, Mr. Brown would be SOOOO fired and I am mad now that I missed this class discussion. This bill is not only taking the voices from educators and violating their human rights, but it is denying students essential skills: critical thinking being the foremost one.
Additionally, in reference to the two articles linked in the yourhub.com blog entry, Freedom of Speech Unless You Teach, parents get upset when you teach evolution, others get upset when you challenge it. Should we ignore it altogether, have people go about never questioning their world or existence? So long as the teacher is allowing all sides of an issue to be explored (and it seems like he is) and the students are arriving at their own conclusions about these issues, what are the parents crying about? It’s not even so much about the issues being discussed, in his seventh grade classroom, it’s much more about imparting to the kids the skills they need to be able to be able to present and argument and defend it, while listening to and acknowledging other points of view. I don’t understand parents being upset to the extent that they want this man to lose his job over his teaching their children to think for themselves.

I’m currently reading the book Reading Lolita in Tehran (thanks Sam, for the recommendation!) and I’ve just finished up the bit where they put The Great Gatsby on trial. They literally put the book on trial (mind you this was done in a university), in Iran, during a time when the government was undergoing major changes and books considered “Western” or reflecting western ideals were being banned left and right and the morality police were out and about searching women and threatening to jail them for wearing pink socks or showing a stray strand of hair too provocatively; the whole nine yards. And still they were able to sit in a classroom and put The Great Gatsby on trial against the whole Islamic religion. She wasn’t even fired AND it was her very first semester teaching at the university.
So, now, here we are in America, in middle schools and high schools, and we can’t even challenge each other’s beliefs? We cannot even learn how to have an intelligent debate where all sides of an issue are heard?
What is this really about?

(PS: sorry about the topic jumps: I was reading and writing at the same time... Still really mad that I missed the class discussion!)

Taking the quote from Joanna I agree with both of them because we must be able to learn and to think in various different ways, the only difference is I think it should be done at an age where children are more able to think for themselves like kids in highschool. This is because these kids will understand more and will be able to question your teaching? I don't think a teacher should fear being fired for trying a new way to teach or if they have discussions about stuff we should know but they consider it taboo. The solution is to teach both sides of the story as it should be taught and parents will probably find a problem like Joanna said about evolution, but it sahould be understood nonetheless. I feel this is cencorship of a different kind. It could be more detramental to kids health if they do not learn to understand both sides of the stories and learn to value which one they believe in.
I had to agree what Michelle and Joanna said.
Jay Mangubat