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View Diary: Case for a Liberal Arts Education (140 comments)

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  •  yeah (0+ / 0-)

    but high school can only go so far in teaching critical thinking. remember, the prefrontal cortex doesn't fully mature until about 25. as nice as it would be to emphasize critical thinking in high school, humans are just not as hardwired to work those skills at age 15 as they are a decade later.

    so some critical thinking skills are going to have to be taught, or at least continued to be taught, at university.

    anyone born after the McDLT has no business stomping around acting punk rock

    by chopper on Thu Oct 25, 2012 at 12:51:47 PM PDT

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    •  I don't buy that (0+ / 0-)

      There's evidence that the brain is still "developing" well into our 30s, but in the sense of incrementally gaining mass.  I doubt there's any evidence that this induces some kind of cognitive deficiency.

      Even if that was the case, the type of skills we commonly call "critical thinking" skills are well within the capability of K-12 students, and should not need to be postponed.

      My head says "No" but my heart says "Yes". And then my liver says "What?" and my butt's all like "Farrrrrrt" --jbou

      by Caj on Fri Oct 26, 2012 at 08:48:11 AM PDT

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      •  actually (1+ / 0-)
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        Killer of Sacred Cows

        yes, the prefrontal cortex does indeed wait until about 25 to fully develop. that isn't to say that it isn't doing anything at age 15 but it really does take another 10 years to fully mature. the PFC is responsible for a great deal of higher-level functioning including critical thinking.

        point isn't to put off teaching it to kids, but rather that it still needs to be emphasized even in college. that is to say, a kid shouldn't need to learn all of their critical thinking skills before college, rather they continue to learn those skills through their undergrad years and even beyond, so continue to cultivate them and plan for the fact that even after high school those skills still need to grow.

        don't assume that kids' critical thinking skills are necessarily fully mature at age 18 even if development of those skills were emphasized in their earlier education. that idea actually harms the full development of the skill in adult brains.

        anyone born after the McDLT has no business stomping around acting punk rock

        by chopper on Fri Oct 26, 2012 at 01:58:21 PM PDT

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