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The Scourge of Critical Thinking

Whenever you deal with people from various defined groups, it is not unexpected to find similar thought patterns. Some are healthy but many are not. The latest I have noted deals with home schoolers. Now I am no fan of home schoolers. I think it best for children to be exposed to the company of others from different backgrounds, to have a variety of professional educators teaching them and to have an arm’s length relationship to those educators. The fact that our public education system is in a shambles has as much to do with racism (the privatization movement went into high gear after the Supreme Court decision on bussing) as class warfare. While it is expected that parents want the best for their children and I certainly don’t envy their predicament, this commendable attitude is being used against society as a whole.

Notwithstanding the above, which I present largely for the purpose of declaring my own bias in the matter, I now return to the issue: whenever I interact with home schoolers, I am careful to hide my concerns while offering the benefit of my advanced education for pointers. Professionals always respond with interest and are happy to discuss new or additional resources. Home schoolers, on the other hand, invariably state “we are already quite covered on this thankyewverymuch” and shut down further debate. What this seems to indicate is not a healthy educational atmosphere opening vistas to children otherwise denied them by the system, but a closed indoctrination scheme. Some defensiveness is to be expected of non-professionals experimenting on their own children, but one would think someone undertaking such a gargantuan task would welcome (or at least pretend to) kindly offered assistance.

The irony of the interaction which triggered this observation was on the need for the study of critical analysis in school and where one could find useful study guides.

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