My Daughter goes to a school with core requirements. One of the requirements is that she take two semesters of philosophy. As she sat to register for classes last August and looked at the course offerings, she was briefly upset that she did not choose the school with no core. The class she least looked forward to taking was philosophy, but she figured she would try to get rid of it right away so it wasn’t a weight around her neck. So Intro to Philosophy was on the fall schedule for Freshman year.
Fast forward to this week when I asked her what her favorite class was:
“Why?” I asked.
“Because there are no right or wrong answers. Everything is a why. I love that. It makes you think about both sides of an argument”. She answered.
Makes you think about both sides of an argument.
Remember when I screamed that should be teaching for home economics? Well, now I have a call for them to teach philosophy. We don’t need philosophers, but we do need people that think like them.
I think that people have forgotten how to think. Or worse off, they never learned.
In a world of standardized tests, how often are kids allowed to think about anything? And is thinking penalized? Last week I wrote a hypothetical example. People interpreted it at least three different ways from what was in my mind when I wrote it, and each point was equally valid. Is anyone really equipped to analyze a passage of something and choose A,B, C or D? How does the creator of a test really know what the author intent was on a passage?
My daughter is an out of the box thinker (hence the apparent love of philosophy) But being an out of the box thinker means that standardized tests on ELA are not her friend. So she had to learn how to take a test- she had to teach herself how to find the most generic answer to a question on a reading passage. True, she “learned”, but was that the most valuable way for her to spend her time? To figure out what answer was the least creative and thought provoking?
My Daughter also chose a certain size college so that there would be a relatively low student:teacher ratio. Her rationale was that she does better on papers as opposed to tests, because given space, she is able to prove her thought process in a way that multiple choice just won’t do. True or false is limiting. What if it’s a combination of both?
Why have we limited ourselves to two or three choices? Why are we so quick to pick one way or another?
When did we decide to be sheep and just follow a specific flock, instead of being the lone wolf who chooses to think their own way? Remeber the old chinese food joke, pick one from column A and one from column B? Shouldn’t our thought process more resemble that? I think this hypothesis is good, but I don’t like this other implication, but over on the other side, this one statement makes sense, so lets come up with a new way of thinking?
Why do we blindly follow all the steps of a tenet just because it’s our “side”? Why are we letting others dictate our behavior and thoughts? When did we lose our individuality?
When did we forget that thinking was the most important thing?