Against Thinking?

July 05, 2012

Politicians usually work hard to avoid making big PR mistakes that undermine their overall arguments and goals. But the Texas Republican Party wrote one huge error right into their platform. One of their positions on education is:

We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student's fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.
So basically their position on education is they oppose education. Why teach kids to think when its much easier to dumb them down with mindless recall? Although some critics had previously accused the Texas GOP of being against higher order thinking and critical thinking (or at least refusing to use such skills), it is pretty shocking for them to come out and admit it! Additionally, this section provides easy ammunition for critics of other parts of the platform. Why does the Texas GOP seem to hold bad ideas on mixing religion and politics? Well, because they are against thinking! Maybe this education clause does explain other parts of the platform. Hopefully the public will use higher order and critical thinking skills to reject the Texas GOP's position on education (as well as their support for mixing religion and politics).