- This is in answer to:
- Invent a course that every high school student should have to take. See all answers
- July 28, 2011 by toddo
- A High School Class that Should be Mandatory
I really think they need to offer a class in critical thinking. It seems to be one skill that is lacking in many people I come across. It's something that can be applied to just about anything. And what else could have such a huge impact on a person's ability to make wise decisions, whether on the job, in relationships, with finances, health, voting, and how one functions in the world.
Too many people live their lives based on blind faith in what they've been told by others. This is true whether it's trying to fit into their peer group, guilt about displeasing parents, control by a significant other, following religious teachings even when they contradict basic common sense, forming opinions because they identify with some political ideology, pressure by a work culture, blind patriotism, belief that authority figures like doctors can't be wrong, assuming what the media says is always true, treating others unfairly just because that's how it has always been, stubbornly clinging to irrational beliefs to be passive aggressive or simply because a change in thinking is scary, ignorance because of isolation, willful ignorance or self-delusion in order to hide something or boost a fragile ego..... the list could go on and on and it has negative effects, both big and small, not only on the individual level, but all the way up to affecting entire nations.
If people could learn to balance their emotionally-driven beliefs with critical thinking based on reason, so many problems could be avoided. The psychological benefits alone would be worth it, not just for the student, but their future children and other people with whom they come into contact with. Even a modest reduction in irrational thinking and the actions which come as a result would have a ripple effect throughout society that clearly benefit us all.