To Teach a Child to Obey or Teach a Child To Reason

What is better, to teach children to obey or to teach children to think?

The sorry thing is that too many obey, and too few think. It is better to help a child form by teaching critical thinking so that they understand what and why they might or must obey. It does not prepare them for the future to send them out into the world with a set of rules which they might not be able to apply or that are perhaps flawed.

Is it not better to send them out able to think critically about what comes their way so that they might find the best solutions for any problem at hand? I see so many young people who are formed with their parents' views and unable to know their own. Sad. Do we not need to adapt as time changes our realities?

Holding steadfast to all beliefs we were taught to obey does not allow for finding any of them false or flawed.


The Texas Republican Party Platform from 2012 postion statement about critical thinking and their opposition to it.

 Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.


Why does this make me think that indoctrination is foremost in their minds?  Over done and over stated, the words "Hitler Youth" still come to mind. When we tell people what to think, we insult the founding fathers who laid their lives and their wealth all on the line for the idea that they could determine for themselves how to be governed.

When we give authority to someone over our destiny, it is imperative that we understand what we are giving them and what our expectations are and should be. If it be lazy to think and understand, to reason and argue, to study and learn the facts of a situation, then call me lazy and I will be well pleased. 

If we respect, let us do so because it is well earned. If we are forced to bow to something that we do not believe or understand, then we are not going to defend it to our death, at least not voluntarily.

It is the difference between someone saying, "He was in the Hitler Youth, he didn't know any better and he didn't have a choice," and the reality of those who did not join and suffered greatly for it.  Do you ever think about if all those who went along, hadn't? Would things have ended up the way they did? Critical thinking and learning what to pick and chose against your own moral authority are invaluable skills. 

 Copyright 2012 by SheilaTGTG55

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