Tuesday, 16 October 2007

To develop critcial thinking ...first develop critical thinking

image credit
Orange Papers

An interesting post by Ben Goldacre discusses the activities of Mind Gym and the reaction he has received following a critical review that he posted.

I find it exteremely worrying that some people who have responsibility for educating young minds lack the critical thinking capability needed in themselves that is needed to develop the critical minds of others, and worse still use students as 'guinea pigs' whilst they tinker around socially experimenting with the latest 'gee whizz' idea. It seems that some educators are as gullible as some business people who fall for the charms of 'Marketing Mystics' claiming to be the sole path to powerful consumer insight.

This is simply evidence of a total lack of imagination and capability in the eduators who abdicate responsibility for their role to others, in the same way that marketing managers abdicate their role to adverstising and research agencies. These people can 'manage' a given system but lack any capability of inventing a system in the first place.

As Florence Nightingale wrote on 28th January 1856 to Colonel Lefroy about the incompetent Dr Hall who was in charge of the General Hospital in Crimea...

"Dr hall is indefatigable in detailed work, and wants only a governing system to work under. But, he is wholly incapable of orginating one" see Goldie S.M. Florence Nightingale: Letters From The Crimea

Ken Wilber talks about 'flatland' where the subjective is downplayed in favour of the objective in his four quadrants model. Sheffield Academic John Darwin has coined the phrase 'fad-land' to characterise gullible obession with supposedly rational and objective tools and techniques.

1 comment:

  1. Richard Dawkins is going to have a field day with Mind Gym. I have never heard of the project and am aghast that British state schools are adopting it as a form of teaching.

    If Western society doesn't get its act together we are going to shoot ourselves right back to the dark ages with dribble like this.