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Customer Review

20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Extremely valid perspective on the condition of education...., July 13, 2009
This review is from: A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the Twenty-first Century (Hardcover)
For the record, DeMille CLEARLY and REPEATEDLY states that it is irrelevant where your child sits [whether it is at public, private or home school] to get the inspiration & fundamental tools of learning; and that TRUE education is not teaching WHAT to think (teaching to a test) or WHEN to think ("professional" training), but HOW to think. That is exactly what our young people need to learn! What a valid and refreshing objective in the current environment where "feelings" are taught to over-rule thought.

"Conveyor belt learning" for instance, is a mindset first followed by the approach that has led to the decline in literacy rates & rankings. As such, DeMille does not attribute the dysfunction only to government schools as LDS has asserted. Rather, he outlined/demonstrated the pros & cons of all learning environments and how all can fall under that category.

If LDS has indeed read this book and/or is a home school dad who did due diligence before deciding to home school (which looks doubtful after his review), then he would admit & understand this. Anyone can pick paragraphs here & there (out of context), make assertions/assumptions and then criticize for pete's sake. Perhaps he should read it again...this time slower.

Whereas I think DeMille's emphasis on the "classics" was a bit beyond what we work on with our children, his points were no less valid and his solutions were proven & attainable for ANY parent [again] regardless of their child's official learning environment.

I believe this is a must read for anyone looking to explore and/or apply different educational approaches based on the needs of their child(ren).
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 2, 2011 1:44:48 PM PDT
Z. G Zinzel says:
"Teaching to the Test" IS NOT teaching WHAT TO THINK,
. . . which is of course Brainwashing, which is of course, what many on the right-wing think that education should be.

I whole-heartedly support "Teaching to the Test" as long as the test is valid- if the test isn't valid = FIX THE TEST

The facts of Math, Science, and Language-Arts don't change = and we need to know if our children are actually learning anything in school.
I believe that we should test often, and use the results of those tests to improve the educational process.
We know that the old system of social-promotion is a failure.

I value highly the notion of critical thinking, but I doubt seriously that it can be taught in most school settings. Instead, I am all too afraid that any course that purported to teach "critical thinking" would super-rapidly devolve into some form of indoctrination / brainwashing- with only a few exceptions.
WHAT I WOULD RECOMMEND FOR ACHIEVING THE GOAL OF TEACHING CRITICAL THINKING
is the systematic, regular, & routine study of propaganda.
If students receive a proper education into the theory, art, & practice of propaganda= critical thinking will almost certainly follow.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 8, 2013 12:17:49 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 8, 2013 12:22:10 AM PDT
TTB says:
Indeed... study propaganda.

Coincidentally, if we're going to bring politics into it and want to use the notion of studying propaganda as a means to teach critical thinking, then "left wing" propaganda would be a great place to begin. After all, the left wing are masters on the subject, just as they are masters of brainwashing. Revisionist American history brought to us by the co-opting of our public education system at the hands of the liberal progressive machine would be the perfect example of this.

There was a point in time when critical thinking and logic absolutely WERE taught as their own courses in schools around the country. They no longer are. Why? Perhaps it has to do with teaching children WHAT to think as opposed to HOW to think, as was suggested by this reviewer and others as well? Thus, "teaching to the test" accomplishes little aside from teaching facts and figures that can be regurgitated on command in order to pass said test, but what is achieved above and beyond this?

Ultimately, I do believe people either have common sense or they don't. Common sense and critical thinking go hand-in-hand. However, I firmly believe that the critical thinking process absolutely can be nurtured, encouraged, and, I daresay, TAUGHT. Our children are sorely lacking in this aspect of their education and have been for quite some time now.

This is where we circle back to studying propaganda... and there is plenty of it to be found. One simply needs to turn on the nightly news as a start.
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