High Schools Need More Critical Thinking
The Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning found that 1/2 the principals of impoverished high schools think their teachers have the skills to teach critical thinking compared to 2/3 of wealthier schools — because many teachers aren’t being prepared to teach critical thinking. The study was called “The Status of the Teaching Profession 2009,” and gives us further evidence that impoverished schools provide a lower-quality education than other schools. Nonetheless, high schools in general do not guarantee that students are taught critical thinking, and something needs to be done about that as well.
Is critical thinking beneficial to high school students? Evidence that critical thinking is beneficial to high school students isn’t easy to come by. If you know of any such evidence, you can let me know.
What exactly is critical thinking? It’s meant to be better forms of thinking. It’s hard to say what exactly “high school critical thinking” means for high school teachers. Although I think critical thinking in high school is likely to benefit students, I don’t trust that very many trained high school teachers understand critical thinking to the high standards that I would like. In particular, I don’t think high school teachers know very much about good reasoning, and I personally think “critical thinking” should be the study of “good reasoning.”
The best understanding we have of “good reasoning” can be found in philosophy and logic — and these things have been found to be beneficial to people. Students taught philosophy have significantly higher scores on various standardized tests; and they could have significant improvements in verbal, numerical and spatial abilities.
- California’s neediest high school students have the least prepared teachers, study says
- Philosophy should be an educational requirement in high school & college.