chapter  13
16 Pages

Think Critically and Wisely

ByJohn Dacey, Gian Criscitiello, Maureen Devlin

Standardized testing is at cross purposes with many of the most important purposes of public education. It does not measure big-picture learning, critical thinking, perseverance, problem solving, creativity or curiosity, yet those are the qualities great teaching brings out in a student. In simple terms, critical thinking examines assumptions and biases, discerns hidden values and evaluates evidence, and assesses conclusions. Modeled on standards of the world's education superpowers, questions demand critical thinking and creativity. The opposite of critical thinking is murky and irrational thought. Educational practices in too many classrooms around the planet tend to promote cautious, compliant memorization, as opposed to bold reflection. This leaves many students feeling fuzzy-headed and uninspired. When children enhance their social and emotional skills, their interest in academic skills improves as well.