Re: Extropian Education

Scott Badger (
Mon, 14 Dec 1998 12:08:52 -0600

>"Leon Boey" <> writes:
>> does anybody think teaching critical thinking at a young age (<>6)
>> would be helpful? perhaps it would bring about a more extropian
>> society?
>Yes to both questions. Overall, getting kids to start thinking
>seriously seems to help them become smarter, more adaptable adults
>(there have been some experiments with teaching young children
>philosophy and getting them discuss it, and it has apparently had
>positive results). And if you can think critically at an earlier age,
>fewer bad memes will be integrated in your basic worldview.
>> if yes, how do you think it could be implemented?
>I have discussed with some fellow transhumanist the possibility of
>writing transhumanist and philosophical children's stories. Everything
>from the adventures of the girl epistemia to Spot gets uploaded. But
>the most important influence is of course adults around the children -
>try to promote critical thinking (and *thinking* in general) whenever
>you are around them. The results are quite rewarding.
>Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
>GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

I'm actually working on a presentation/workshop for Special Education teachers in which I will discuss critical thinking skills and children with behavioral and emotional disorders. I've justed really started on this project but it's already clear that teaching critical thinking skills is by itself a necessary but insufficient component toward developing competent problem solvers. We must also nurture the development of a set of attitudes which will predispose the child to implement the skills they have learned. IOW, one can learn a set of critical thinking skills, but
these will be under-utilized if one is close-minded or lacks inqusitiveness.

My personal feelings are that this should be a "critical" part of early education, deserving an entire class devoted to it. Additionally, all teachers
should integrate critical thinking into their curriculum. One thing that kids
like are logic puzzles and riddles that require critical thinking skills.