Re: SOC: Social Contract Education (Was: More Green Party)

From: Scott Badger (
Date: Sun Jul 02 2000 - 14:48:43 MDT

Max More apparently wrote:

> I'm always stunned to find that
> financial planning, basic logic, and evolutionary
> theory, are almost never taught in schools,
> at least based on the many hundreds of students
> I have surveyed.

I agree wholeheartedly Max. Especially about logic and
critical thinking not being systematically offered in
the public school systems. I have asked many
administrators why this is so and they simply shrug
their shoulders.

As a school psychologist, most of the children I work
with are referred to me because they are considered to
be "behavior problems". I've found that many of them
are having difficulties for the same reason that many
adults have difficulties. They are making poor
decisions. They're making poor decisions because they
have weak reasoning skills, because they repeatedly
employ logical fallacies, because they have distorted
perceptions of themselves or others, becaause they
lack training in logic and critical thinking skills.

I'm currently consulting for the Science Education
Department of a State University who is working with
NASA on various projects designed to help pre-service
teachers develop more effective instructional
strategies in the sciences.

During the latest workshop, one professor informed me
that he had given the Myers-Briggs to about 250
pre-service teachers and 70% of those assessed were
identified as "Guardians". This is purported to be a
personality temperament that tends to be enculturating
as parents, helpmates as spouses, and conformity
oriented. There are at least 40 percent and as many as
45 percent of the general population. These are the
security-seeking personalities, the keepers of the
status quo. They give little more than lip-service to
the idea that students should critically examine
everything for fear that their own teaching styles
might come under scrutiny. This would be incongruent
with a security-seeking personality.

So these appear to be the people who are
self-selecting to be the ones who indoctrinate our
children. I suspect that many well-reasoned efforts at
educational reform have been undermined by the
excessive number of teachers in the system that are
simply predisposed to resist change. Perhaps
universities need to consider recruiting individuals
who will be more amenable to the more effective
teaching styles that have been developed.

Scott Badger

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