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January 2008

Wikipedia in the Newsroom

American Journalism Review, MD
So "people have to do some critical thinking," Crane says, by evaluating their sources, "whether it's Wikipedia or the New York Times. ... Read the Full Article

Pakistan's Universities - Problems and Solutions

Chowk, CA
In Pakistan the dead hand of tradition stands squarely in the way of modern education and a modern mindset that relies on critical thinking. ... Read the Full Article

Comment on 'Internet Dark Age'

American Thinker, WA
The generation in danger is one that has lost the capacity for critical thinking, one that has not been taught how to think. ... Read the Full Article

‘Teach to Test’ – Not in the 21st Century

State Journal, WV
Richard Paul, director of the Center for Critical Thinking and Moral Critique, states what must happen: "We need to shift the focus of learning from simply ... Read the Full Article

Less Critical Thinking, More Learned Appreciation

Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription)
That’s the critical thinking pedagogy, and it may be the most popular rationale for humanistic inquiry. A colleague whom I admire argued it recently in a ... Read the Full Article

A Libertarian Solution to Evolution Education Controversy: No More Public Schools

Wired News
What about critical thinking skills? Teaching kids that evolution and creationist alternatives are scientifically equivalent won't help them think ... Read the Full Article

Education and hope in exile, India
Thein Lwin says workshops in "reading and writing for critical thinking" are an important part of the teacher training courses. ... Read the Full Article

HUMAN MATTERS: Critical thinking losing favor in schools, culture ...

Las Vegas Review - Journal, NV
But more than anything else, debate teaches critical thinking. Rules of inference and logic, fallacies of logic, the burden of proof, parsimony, empiricism, ... Read the Full Article

Understanding beats high test scores

Ventura County Star, CA
That's when patience, determination, critical thinking and creativity are required of us if we hope to continue forward motion toward our chosen goals. ... Read the Full Article

Indoctrination? Not My Women's Studies Class

RH Reality Check, DC
Basically, everything that questions the status quo...which (I thought) was the entire point of the collegiate experience: to develop critical thinking ... Read the Full Article

The spectre of militarisation that haunts the US

Thought Leader, South Africa
... in doing so, become less open to either academic subjects or programmes that encourage rigorous debate, dialogue and critical thinking. ... Read the Full Article

Locking Up Teens For Life Debated In Sacramento, CA -
“The neuroscience is clear; brain maturation continues well through adolescence and thus impulse control, planning, and critical thinking skills are still ... Read the Full Article

Google is 'white bread for the mind' says university professor

Daily Mail, UK -
Professor Tara Brabazon will name Google in particular for the downturn in critical thinking, calling the popular search tool, "white bread for the mind". Read the Full Article

Student's lawsuit over teacher's lesson draws applause and acrimony

Daily Breeze, CA -
... the most important subject of all: critical thinking. are all afraid of listening to the other for fear they might agree and might then have to change ... Read the Full Article

Teach to the Test

New York Times, United States -
The skill these tests assess is critical thinking. See for yourself: they are all online (Google “ELA Regents”). These are tests no Times reader would ... Read the Full Article

In looking beyond MCAS, district seeks a sharper view

Boston Globe, United States -
"But we put analysis and critical thinking in our learning expectations, and we must have a way to assess that. Paper-and-pencil tests just do not give us ... Read the Full Article

Sounding Off: Online education - or in class?

Dallas Morning News, TX -
Many of the higher-order critical-thinking skills are dependent upon an excellent classroom teacher to elicit these responses in person from students. Read the Full Article

Arroyo Valley High School to add International Baccalaureate program

Press-Enterprise, CA -
They must take rigorous courses in a variety of subjects from foreign languages to science, learn through critical thinking rather than memorization, ... Read the Full Article

Principal looks forward to opening Coyote Ridge, CO -
“That’s what PYP does — it takes what kids’ real interests are and builds units around their interests so that deep learning and critical thinking take ... Read the Full Article

Educators explain IB program

Gulf Coast Newspapers, AL -
... exams that prepares them for college by teaching time management and critical thinking skills, according to information supplied at a news conference. ... Read the Full Article

Middle school's academics discussed; old high school gymnasium in ...

Harlem Valley Times, NY -
The school is particularly looking at improving the students' critical thinking skills as they relate to reading in the language arts state assessment ... Read the Full Article

Poverty should be no bar to university entry

The Herald, UK - Jan 10, 2008
Surely it must include the so-called soft skills of working in teams, problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity and communication. ...
Read the Full Article

UCC nursing program plans for improvement

News-Review, OR - Jan 10, 2008
In addition to the new curriculum, which Hendy said emphasizes critical thinking along with knowledge, UCC is making other changes. ... Read the Full Article

Graduation exam splits parents, educators, teachers union officials

Pittsburgh Post Gazette, PA - J
Other opponents argued that the proposal puts a higher value on rote knowledge than critical thinking, teamwork, creativity and other skills employers and ... Read the Full Article

Helping inner city kids make smart moves, OH -
Research shows a classic game of chess inspires self-motivation, critical thinking and shows success rewards hard work. Players also learn how to win and ... Read the Full Article

Social justice lectures feature renowned experts

WMU News, MI
She recently co-wrote "Contemporary Youth Culture: An International Encyclopedia, Volumes I & II" and her published works include "Critical Thinking and Rap ... Read the Full Article

Hughes on Future Neurotech for Future Problem Solvers

Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, CT -
What we each believe about human nature, the meaning and purpose (or lack thereof) of human life – as well as the value we place on critical thinking, ... Read the Full Article

SAS and Lenovo Partner to Empower K-12 Learning

FOXNews -
Technology is vital in enhancing education and empowering teachers with tools to help students develop critical thinking skills, especially in grades 5-12,"... Read the Full Article

Battelle Pioneers New Corporate Engagement Model for Global Education Program for Engineering

FOXNews -
Their education program is a part of a technological literacy movement that seeks to improve critical thinking and multidimensional problem-solving skills Read the Full Article...

Students earn perfect scores

Danbury News Times, CT -
The WordMaster Challenge is an exercise in critical thinking that encourages students to become familiar with a set of new words considerably harder than Read the Full Article...

BHS offers nurses chance for degrees

Berkshire Eagle, MA
Nursing is a complicated job, Downey said, and RNs need advanced, critical-thinking skills to catch complications and to navigate complex situations. Read the Full Article...

Dar Al-Fikr Leads the Way With MindLab

Arab News: Saudi Arabia — "... social and card games to captivate their attention and systematically help them develop crucial skills including: critical thinking, decision making, ... " -- Read the Full Article

Christian Right Agenda Requires No Critical Thinking

Lawrence Journal World: KS — "Everything fits nicely into its box, no critical thinking required. Too bad reality is so often in grayscale or (gasp!) even in color. ... " -- Read the Full Article

English for a Shrinking World

The Daily Yomiuri: Japan "Our real focus here will be developing academic skills--interaction in the classroom, handling more difficult academic tasks, critical thinking," William ..." -- Read the Full Article

The Most Wired School in America

Computerworld: MA — "The School of the Future is now, but can too much tech impede critical thinking skills? January 08, 2008 (Computerworld) -- The technology in corporate ..." -- Read the Full Article

Including G&T Pupils in the Primary Classroom

Teaching Expertise: UK — "Aim to create a classroom atmosphere based upon discussion, enquiry, critical thinking and questioning. Share learning objectives with the children, ..." -- Read the Full Article

Former al-Zawahiri Disciple in Israel

Jerusalem Post: "And the moment I hesitated, that critical thinking, his approach, started to work in my mind." And now, almost 30 years later, this one-time impressionable ..." -- Read the Full Article

Elite Universities Discover the Power of Online Video

IBLNEWS:  Spain — “We hope these courses will be a resource for critical thinking, creative imagination, and intellectual exploration”. The University of California, ... " -- Read the Full Article

Film, TV and Radio Writers on Strike: Why It Matters

Bay Area Indymedia:  CA — "Socialist society, including in the realm of arts and culture, must have an atmosphere of dissent, ferment, critical thinking and the wild contestation of ... " -- Read the Full Article

Teacher's Race Needn't Match Pupil's

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: NY — "... the blessing of sharing with another the most profound gift of all: the liberating force of critical thinking, an open heart and a discerning mind. ..." -- Read the Full Article

WSU Provost Gently Raises Topic of Testing  "Miller said he proposes a mild form of testing, for critical thinking and oral and written communications skills. Not all students would be tested. ..." -- Read the Full Article

Internet's Impact on Democracy

San Francisco Chronicle: "The accumulation of knowledge requires training in the art of critical thinking. A Web site that insists its participants defend their positions, ... "-- Read the Full Article

The Lost Art of "Critical Thinking"

The Daily Scare: OH — "I wanted to know just what is making the American voting public tick. Sometimes I wish I didn’t want to understand anything, but I do, ... " -- Read the Full Article

At One With Nature

Malaysia Star:  "The person needs to have good people skills, critical thinking and a willingness to learn. The environment is now the most important issue that needs to be ..."-- Read the Full Article

HIV Aids Awareness Drive for Students in Pakistan

Unique Pakistan:  "... Managing Stress, Communication Skills, Assertiveness, Negotiation Skills, Interpersonal Relationship, Empathy, Decision Making and Critical Thinking. ..."-- Read the Full Article

Critical Thinking About Energy

Skeptical Inquirer: "Highly centralized generation of electrical power is a paradigm that has outlived its usefulness. Decentralized generation could save $5 trillion in capital ... " -- Read the Full Article

An Experiment in Bringing Critical Thinking to the Masses

Skeptical Inquirer: "A skeptic encounters psychics, astrologers, and other strange creatures and discovers firsthand how they react to science and reason. ... " -- Read the Full Article

A Field Guide to Critical Thinking

Skeptical Inquirer: "...the ineffectiveness of public education, which generally fails to teach students the essential skills of critical thinking. As a college professor, ... " -- Read the Full Article

Science and Reason in Film and Television

Skeptical Inquirer:  "Perhaps entertainment television and film producers can be recruited by scientists and skeptics to help ensure that critical thinking does not disappear ..."-- Read the Full Article

What the #$*! Do They Know?

Skeptical Inquirer:  "People who espouse New Age philosophies are not generally known for their knowledge of modern science or their respect for critical thinking. ..."-- Read the Full Article

The First Skeptics' Congress Convenes in Russia

Skeptical Inquirer:  "He is also editor of their journal Zdravy’ Smysl (Common Sense or Critical Thinking) and editor of a series of books published in Russian. ..."-- Read the Full Article

Beware the Labels!

Nolan Chart LLC, VA:  "Labels are often used to subjugate critical thinking. The kook or radical may not be that radical or kooky if you get past those words. ..."-- Read the Full Article

Why Evolution Is Important in the Classroom

Wired Blog Network:  "It's very important that children be taught the facts about evolution, says a report released yesterday by the National Academy of Sciences ... The report comes at an opportune time. Evolution is under classroom attack from intelligent design, a non-scientific explanation of life's origins as divinely manufactured; if ID-friendly curricula pass in Florida and Texas, other states will likely follow  ... Unfortunately, while the report nicely summarizes the facts of evolution, it does a poor job explaining why learning about evolution is so important ... The press release quotes Institute of Medicine president Harvey Fineberg, who said that "understanding evolution is essential to identifying and treating disease." However, it's possible to disbelieve evolution's bigger picture while accepting its role in bacterial shifts. The accompanying brochure [pdf] comes a bit closer to the point, asserting that "teaching non-scientific concepts in science class will only confuse students about the processes, nature, and limits of science," but this isn't followed through in the full report ... The report's conclusion says that understanding evolution is necessary to making long-term decisions about resource consumption and environmental protection, but it's hardly difficult to find common ground with a sensible intelligent design proponent on questions of climate change or deforestation. In short, there's little to sway a parent contemplating the introduction of intelligent design to their child's science class ...  Finally, buried in the FAQ is the advice that "critical thinking does not mean that all criticisms are equally valid. Critical thinking has to be based on reason and evidence. Discussion of critical thinking or controversies does not mean giving equal weight to ideas that lack essential supporting evidence."-- Read the Full Article

Valley Film Festival Searches for Democracy

The Barre Montpelier Argus:  Waitsfield — "The fifth annual MountainTop Film Festival, Jan. 9-13, celebrates the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. through a series of films dealing with the hopes and struggles of democracy across the globe ... Documentaries have an unrivaled power to use human stories to make us think about broader issues. The 2008 MountainTop Film Festival's 13 films do just that, with filmmakers across the world taking us into the heart of countries to explore the complex questions of modern democracy ... In the fifth year of featuring social and politically relevant films the festival continues its effort to provoke critical thinking, start conversations and encourage action. Films, a democracy fair with direct action groups, and public forums with special guests such as Amy Goodman ("Democracy Now!"), Jehane Noujaime (Control Room) and Robert Jensen (author/journalist) will make up a versatile, action-driven program this year ... These films do not provide packaged answers, but illuminate the contradictions, challenges and hopes and disappointments of democracy in the 21st century, speaking a language that everyone understands. It is meant to be a unique effort to grow a global conversation about the biggest political idea of our time – using documentary film to initiate the debate."-- Read the Full Article

Tokyo High

The Times of India:  "For those worried that Indian education stresses only rote learning skills news about Japan's latest craze - for Indian-style schools - should come as a balm ... The Japanese are concerned about a slippage in educational achievement in recent times, moving down in an international survey from first place in math and second in science in 2000 to tenth and sixth respectively now. They have started looking at the Indian model of education as a key to success. Applications to Indian international schools in Japan - where teachers, textbooks and classroom themes are all Indian - are soaring ... Why this stress on Indian-style learning abroad when it is in such bad odour at home? One answer is that Indian schools and colleges are sharply differentiated in quality. While the best can be world-class, the rest leave a lot to be desired. Very often it's a story of dilapidated schools with no facilities and teachers who don't attend ... A recent survey showed that a qurarter of government school teachers were absent from school at any given time and less than half were teaching  ... In case of many children lucky enough to get into a good school they, and their parents, know that this is the key to success in later life. This creates a special quality of grit in Indian students that may look worthy of emulation in other countries. Morover, students going to the best schools in India are often the same ones who travel abroad later and attain success there, becoming ambassadors for Indian education ...That shouldn't blind us to the faults of Indian-style schooling, which replicates a Brahminical model of education. It serves the purposes only of those at the top of the social hierarchy. There too, it lays emphasis on rote learning. That may serve certain limited purposes in training the mind, as the Japanese are discovering. But if it comes at the expense of critical thinking, that's a heavy price to pay ... There's no point memorising complicated multiplication tables when technology can do the job faster. But critical thinking is vital to surviving competition in a 21st century global economy. That's what Indian schools ought to be inculcating right now, in order to close the skills gap rapidly emerging as the latest bottleneck to India's growth. We have a lesson to learn from Japan, which has succeeded in universalising high-quality school education." -- Read the Full Articles

CULTURE DIGEST: Teen Birth Rate Rises 1st Time in 14 Years

BP News: "... which he admits to smoking, now is pushing an agenda to teach poker to middle school children as a means of improving their critical thinking skills. ..."-- Read the Full Article

Stillman School Earns 2008 CHEA Award

Seaton Hall University:  "The Stillman School of Business has earned the 2008 Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) Award for Institutional Progress in Student Learning Outcomes ... The Stillman School is one of three award winners and the only business school to be recognized ... The assessment is a key component of undergraduate education at the Stillman School and is based on the students’ professional development in the areas of 1) change management, 2) critical thinking, 3) communications, 4) teamwork and 5) technology. Participating in the assessment process during either their sophomore or senior year, students' skills in these areas are developed through the core courses of the undergraduate curriculum." -- Read the Full Article

Parent Interest is Key to Homework Success

The Arizona Republic:  "Should parents help their young children with homework? If so, how much should Mom and Dad assist with homework? ... A leading factor for young students' improvement in academic performance, as measured by report cards, is the combination of parent involvement and teacher support ... So, both teachers and parents need to work in concert with the child in assisting with homework to get the best academic payoff ... Two things can make this student, parent, and teacher combination work. First, parents need a bit of training. Second, teachers need to create and implement homework assignments that allow for interactive critical thought ... We know that children learn best by doing. In addition, we also know that parents are the child's first and most important teacher ... So when a child is allowed to interact with his or her environment with both teacher support and parental involvement the chances of daily academic success are great ... This may mean that the teacher needs to start homework assignments in class to be sure that the students not only understand what they are learning but how to do the assignment ... We know that young children are apt to get frustrated, have short attention spans, find an assignment too difficult, and have a lack of study skills ... Here are some ideas teachers can utilize and parents can practice to get the ball rolling on this week's homework ... Homework activities should: ... Elicit parents and their children to use critical-thinking skills (analyze, synthesize, and evaluate) as they discuss an assignment." -- Read the Full Article

Educators Beefing Up State Testing, Classroom Instruction

Charleston Daily Mail:  "State school officials are working to toughen the curriculum in public schools and the tests used to measure student achievement, in part because student performance in the Mountain State continues to slide in comparison to other states ... Beginning in the spring of 2009, students will be given a new, more difficult WESTEST ... The statewide assessment is given to all third- through eighth-graders and to all high school sophomores to measure their math and language arts skills ... The test has been revamped in conjunction with changing content standards, which reflect the kind of coursework teachers are expected to teach and what students are supposed to learn in various programs ... State School Superintendent Steve Paine said the decision to change both the WESTEST and classroom standards came after officials recognized West Virginia students are not well prepared to compete for jobs ... Paine said the state's demands and expectations have been too low for many of the core classes, including math and science ... 'We have noticed that the levels of cognitive demand in our content standards don't position our kids to be globally competitive,' Paine said ... State school officials have begun touting the overhaul as a way to emphasize "21st Century Learning," the name for a renewed focus on problem solving, critical thinking skills and a style of teaching intended to help students succeed in the workplace." -- Read the Full Article

Hope Through Respectful Dialogue

Pacific Daily News:  Guam — "A highly praised book on my desk, 'Journey into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization' (Brookings Institution Press 2007), by a former Pakistani civil servant, Akbar Ahmed, chair of Islamic Studies of the American University's School of International Service, is advertised as making 'a powerful case for forming bonds across religion, race, and tradition to create lasting harmony between Islam and the West' and as "essential reading in an era of mistrust, violence, and misunderstanding' ... Computer science professor Judea Pearl of the University of California, Los Angeles, says, Ahmed's book 'provides a fresh, scholarly and invaluable insight into the mindset of Muslim society in the post 9/11 era, a society that many in the West view as unreasonable and most Muslims view as victimized,' and 'a 'must' read for anyone concerned with the course of this planet '... Pearl is the father of Daniel (Danny) Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped by terrorists while investigating shoe bomber Richard Reid and alleged links between al-Qaida and Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence. Danny was beheaded, after uttering the final words, ' I am Jewish,' in February 2002 in Karachi ... Having written about critical, creative, and positive thinking, I am kicking off my New Year writing for the PDN about two grandfathers: Judea Pearl, a Jew who 'played (and) rode donkeys together' with Palestinian kids, and Akbar Ahmed, a Muslim whose childhood memories involved the killings of Muslims in India and Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan. They have learned from one another and have created the 'Daniel Pearl Dialogues for Muslim-Jewish Understanding Featuring Akbar Ahmed and Judea Pearl' to spread reconciliation and friendship between their Abrahamic faiths 'through frank and respectful dialogue ... essential to the future of humanity' ... Pearl left his 'math equations' behind 'to defy terrorists who murdered' his son ... 'If they try to spread division among people, then we ought to spread friendship.' Ahmed says, 'I am seeing cause and effect,' and joked, "The world must be in worse shape than I thought, if just two old men talking gives people hope.' "-- Read the Full Article

Perri Klass: "Treatment Kind & Fair"

Metapsychology: "Cases are used for various learning goals, including understanding tests and coming to diagnostic conclusions; critical thinking is created and nurtured. ..."-- Read the Full Article

Inaction on No Child Left Behind Dismays Schools

The Tennessean:  "Educators optimistic that changes would be made to the federal No Child Left Behind law easing some of its strict requirements are leaving hope behind ... Congress hasn't made a move to reauthorize or change the law, which expires this month. As attention turns to the presidential election in November, serious changes to the law may have to wait until after the winner takes office in 2009." -- Read the Full Article