The Educational Approach

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Reference: Critical Thinking in Education

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There are two distinct educational approaches.

  1. The Greek Academy System: This educational approach believes in the student learning to think rationally on his own.

  2. The Scholastic Model: This educational approach believes in forcefully impressing data.

The scholastic model uses an examination system to forcefully impress data. It raises the student’s anxieties of what might happen if he does not “pass” an exam. The student becomes confused and unable to think rationally. He resorts to memorizing data without understanding. The system passes him with good grades if he can regurgitate data verbatim.

Under the scholastic system, a good grade is supposed to be synonymous with a bright mind. However, it is no more than the ability to memorize and recall data impressed by others. Such forcefully impressed data conditions the mind. It reduces the ability to understand and analyze data rationally.

Education must avoid becoming a mode of conditioning if it is to produce effective human beings. The first vital principle in teaching is to do everything possible to keep the student alert and aware of the subject on a rational plane.

The alert mind is extroverted and analytical. Its essential mode is self-learning. It thrives best when it is least “molded.”

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The Approach Needed

The approach needed in education today is to let the mind become alert, extroverted and able to self-learn. This is accomplished by resolving the existing confusions in the mind on major subjects.

In teaching a subject one should first check the key points of understanding, and clean up the confusion surrounding those points. For example, in mathematics, the key points of understanding in sequence are: (1) The purpose of learning mathematics, (2) reading and writing large numbers, (3) the operation of division, and (4) the use of fractions.

Besides mathematics, the other major subject is language and grammar.

The resolving of confusions in major subjects helps students become self-learners.

The students must learn to think rationally on their own.

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