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Students Today: Minds without ‘Furniture’

Stashed in: Education!, Education

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YES! "As the Yale Report points out, students’ minds need to be “disciplined.” They need to learn how to read maturely, write clearly, listen attentively, thoroughly investigate a topic, construct an argument, and identify logical fallacies. If you feel compelled to use the modern buzz term for it, students should be taught to “think critically.”

In The Abolition of Man, C.S. Lewis famously derided today’s schools for producing “Men without Chests”—students lacking the virtue and “generous emotion” that marked the great persons of the past. Deneen warns us that schools today are producing “Minds without Furniture”—students who may be considered “smart” but are devoid of any substantial, shared knowledge about the great works on which their civilization and culture was built.

Moreover, I fear that without such a shared knowledge you end up not only with “Minds without Furniture,” but a “People without Unity”... a “Nation without Identity.”

I wonder how to teach students to think critically.

Somehow educational systems all over the world were managing to do that. Not anymore. So what had changed?

Too much teaching to get high test scores?

Too much fixing that was not broken, including - yes - teaching to the test.

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