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Mike Rose on Cognition!

Before I forget. Once again Mike Rose opens my eyes and clears my mind of the nonsense that accumulates when I’m not looking!

“Giving Cognition a Bad Name”, Education Week, January 16, 2013–back cover!

The false distinction between “affect” and “cognitive”–“character” vs “academics” and on and on is more than foolish. It’s dangerous. Above all to those we’ve too long cheated in our schools under the name of “care” and “love” and “the whole child.” Strong character–feistiness, grit, or whatever the latest fad word may be–is not mindless. And if it is, mindless grit is not a virtue.

Children come out of the womb with minds – and they are working hard every day filling that mind with thoughts, feelings, ides, assumptions, concepts—even “critical thinking”. Ouch, that hurts.

Mike, as usual, in his gentle way takes these myths on, He acknowledges that some of the latest crowd of “character” fans are not only meaning but are trying wisely to stop the rush toward more and more mindless so-called achievement tests of academics. But in reconsidering the importance of the “whole child” he hopes for a “reclaiming of the full meaning of cognition–one that is robust and intellectual, intimately connected to character and social development, and directed toward the creation of a better world.”

Enough said!

Well, not quite. I urge folks to read the following paragraph printed in Dianne column today by an unnamed Illinois teacher–whose views I largely share. . What’s wrong with it? More later.

“I believe strongly that students need good, solid foundation skills and a wide range of experiences before they can think critically. “


2 Responses

  1. re: “I believe strongly that students need good, solid foundation skills and a wide range of experiences before they can think critically. “ –

    students – even the very young ones I’ve taught – think critically, if by critical thinking we mean approaching experiences and information in a querying manner, seeing patterns, connecting the dots, and asking good questions. And don’t we need all of this as a way of empowering children to master and fully gain from those “solid foundation skills” and their “wide range of experiences”?

  2. Oh no not isolated social skills. They won’t transfer or generalize.

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