Protest Texas Republican Party’s Call for Schools to Stop Teaching Critical Thinking Skills

Target: Leaders of the Texas Republican Party

Goal: Don’t call for schools to stop teaching critical thinking skills.

Texas Republican delegates held a meeting in Fort Worth recently, at which they agreed on their party’s 2012 platform. The document calls for schools to stop teaching students critical thinking skills because they can result in “challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.” It further expresses support for the use of “corporal punishment” by teachers, as well as rejects “any sex education other than abstinence until marriage.” The platform indicates an attitude of disrespect toward intellectual development and the plurality of opinion that stems from individual pursuit of learning. Sign the petition below to protest the educational reform described in the Texas Republican platform.

In calling for a shift away from “higher order thinking skills,” delegates are encouraging rote memorization and fact-based testing. Apparently, learning how to build logical opinions and arguments grounded in analytical thinking is not to be pursued because it challenges fixed beliefs. Efforts to limit citizens’ ability to think critically will ultimately undermine the basis of our democracy by creating an American public that is unwilling and unable to challenge the actions of government officials.

Teachers will rarely succeed in fostering their students’ interest in learning if it consists primarily of circling the appropriate letter on a multiple-choice question, especially as technology offers more and more distractions and shortcuts every day. Now is the time to take a stand by defending the importance of teaching critical thinking skills. By signing the petition below, you will help to protest the Texas Republican platform and to protect opportunities of students to shape themselves into well-informed, thoughtful, and curious individuals.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Texas Republican Delegates,

I understand that your 2012 party platform calls for schools to stop teaching students critical thinking skills because they can result in “challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.” The document further expresses support for the use of “corporal punishment” by teachers, as well as rejects “any sex education other than abstinence until marriage.”

In my opinion, your platform indicates an attitude of disrespect toward intellectual development. A successful democracy depends upon a plurality of opinion that stems from individual pursuit of learning. Efforts to limit the ability of American citizens to think critically threaten to undermine the basis of our democracy by creating an American public that is unwilling and unable to challenge the actions of government officials.

The ability to challenge a fixed belief allows for societal progress and innovation. And a passion for pursuing learning for its own sake is the first step toward inspiring the exchange of ideas that creates a forward-thinking society. I urge you to reconsider your stance against the teaching of critical thinking skills. I hope that you will realize the importance of allowing students to ask interesting questions, form their own opinions, and shape themselves into well-informed, thoughtful, and curious individuals.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Sign the Petition

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Signatures

  • Alper Arslan
  • Max Slender
  • Tom Pow
  • Henrik Sundt
  • Zachary Martin
  • A. van Lieshout
  • Topi Linkala
  • Rachelle Reamer
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