Rule #1: Nothing hidden is fixed on a quantum level until experienced on the physical level.
"Critical Thinking", the art of painting, creating, surviving with the human mind.
I think most professionals in the field of education, in particular, our public school system, as well as many private, religious, and charter schools know that "critical thinking" is key to a good education.
Trouble is, critical thinking is being pushed aside, in favor of standardized skills and standardized testing. That to be a contributing adult in the 21st century requires standardized skills, not critical thinking. The process and integration of standardized curriculum is well established already; most prominently in the Federal Government's, "No Child Left Behind", NCLB act. A noble idea maybe, gone wrong.
In addition we have a New right in schools... Today, a child can be arrested for bringing a pocket-knife to school; or a squirt-gun, even a toy soldier. If they write a story about war, murder, rage, destruction, they are suspected child-terrorist. They're not considered creative, or expressing themselves in the sense that students prior to the 1990's experienced things. Everything a student does or says today is noted and documented... if it's unconventional.
I know of one story where a student, I believe in middle-school, returned to school after Summer break, was asked to to the boring "What did you do over your summer vacation" assignment, and he wrote that he experimented "making bombs". It was a big story... he was arrested, his house searched, parents questioned, and they found pipes, matches, and other "bomb-making" materials at his house.
Yet, I know of another story where a student describes "over the summer", he ordered nuclear material, experimented with explosives, a nuclear reactor, and nuclear fusion. Turns out he's a child genius, and he works for the Dept of Homeland Security. He built nuclear reactors at home!
As a kid I had occasion to experiment with building exploding things using matches, or gunpowder (secured by opening a live bullet). I've asked people my age if they did the same (men), and they answer "sure, who didn't?"
Critical Thinking 101 involves making decisions based on circumstance, knowledge, rational interpretation, and either doing something or nothing. We always have at least three choices in life: 1) Do, 2) Do Nothing, 3) Take a moment and think about it.
Situation: You're 19 years of age; you graduated from HS; You're going to the local community college pursuing an AS degree in a subject that you are led to believe is your destiny; you don't question this reality.
Good or Not Good?
A dumb question actually, as we always have at least 3 choices. It may be neither good, nor not good. It may require "critical thought and consideration". At age 19 things aren't anywhere near figured out. To blindly accept one's situation is folly.
Situation 2: You're 19 years of age; it's a Friday night, the weekend, you're spending time with two childhood friends. You're able to drink alcohol legally, being as it's early 1970's, and most staes considered 18 the legal age; you haven't decided to go to a bar this night, instead, one of your friends asks if you want to smoke some Panama red - marijuana?
In school they taught you that "marijuana is a dangerous drug". They told you it would quickly lead to harder drugs, would destroy your brain, and you'd possible jump off a roof. As a result you're very ant-drug, and you think in right and wrong. You're presented with one of the worst challenges in life. Marijuana is illegal, you'd call the police, so righteous you are, if anyone offered such a deal; but in this case, you do the most unusual thing you've ever done. You say, "sure, I'll try it".
Somehow realizing there were more than two choices here, one being calling the police, and two being abandoning everything I'd ever been led to believe about marijuana, right and wrong, by simply saying "sure, let's spark it up!" I had perhaps the longest moment in time right then. I looked at my other friend who seemed to be teetering on the same edge as was I.
I finally decided, the truth about marijuana meant more to me than any principles, or what I'd been taught in school to believe without question. I thought critically perhaps for the first time in my life about a situation, and my options. Both my friend and I decided to try it.
Next Time: My cat is addicted to Kitty-Treats... and Now What???
WIKIPEDIA: Critical thinking, in general, refers to a higher-order of thinking that questions assumptions. It is a way of deciding whether a claim is true, false, or sometimes true and sometimes false, or partly true and partly false. The origins of critical thinking can be traced in Western thought to the Socratic method of Ancient Greece...
Critical thinking...the awakening of the intellect to the study of itself.
CRITICAL THINKING.ORG: "Critical thinking is a rich concept that has been developing throughout the past 2500 years. The term "critical thinking" has its roots in the mid-late 20th century. We offer here overlapping definitions, together which form a substantive, transdisciplinary conception of critical thinking."