Friday, July 6, 2012

Think critically, Texas

In its party platform, the Texas Republican Party considered the role of critical thinking in education, and denounced it.

Critical thinking, the Texans suggest, challenges both students' fixed beliefs and parental authority. That's risky, so they decided that Texas and Texans should be protected from a curriculum that teaches critical thinking skills.

Thinking separates man from machine. Critical thinking uses that unique, precious ability to help choose ethical and moral paths. Critical thinking sometimes asks difficult questions that make us squirm, attacks our most hallowed beliefs, makes us angry or sad or excited, and most importantly, leads to more thinking.

America's founders, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, thought critically before substituting the new ideas of liberty and tolerance for the divine right of kings and the power of state-supported churches. What began as radical thought became cherished American values.

Frighteningly, what happens in Texas may not stay in Texas. Decisions about textbooks and curriculum made in Texas often spread to other states whose education boards follow their lead without thinking.

Limiting critical thinking has been tried before and failed. Texas Republicans will fail as well, eventually. Even in Texas, it will be hard to stop human minds from asking why and why not, but Texas Republicans do seem bent on giving it a shot.

Critically, we cannot wish them well.

About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads

 Local Weather 
Search archives:

Copyright © 2020 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.