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Inability to Think Critically

Reader comment on item: Profs Who Hate America
in response to reader comment: I agree with the professors

Submitted by Gerald McCutcheon, Jr. (United States), Nov 13, 2002 at 13:05

As the late actor John Houseman's law professor character ranted on the old television series about turning a "skull full of mush" into thoughtful reflection and able analytical prowess, so would we expect the faculty at college level institutions to afford the same to students. Unfortunately in many cases, this ability is non-existent.

But perhaps this is the function of a lack of secondary educational preparation: specifically, the ability to think critically (i.e. evaluating the evidence and rendering a substantiated opinion or result in a responsible manner). This ability, or at least the desire to do so, has eroded to the point that university professors, largely irresponsible in their charged duty to educate and morally bankrupt so as to attempt to intimidate and eschew the spectrum of viewpoints normally expected of the educational arena, preach emotionally laden and factually erroneous high octane, anti-American dogma to a largely naive audience.

Rants such as those solicited by poster Abou-Alsamh on this board are typical of the ineptitude rampant among a growing percentage of students who, ironically, either decline to apply critical review, are too lazy to do so, or are too ignorant or naive to question what they recant as evidence. In reality, critical thinking - what we expect from the university experience - is replaced by the inversion of Houseman's professor character.

The key to this is monitoring by the alumni. In the end, they are the ones who must insist, just as coaches and boosters in athletics, that the professors and the university management be held accountable. Otherwise, this destructive anti-American pathology will continue and the students who are to be achievers and thinkers of tomorrow will have been denied the vital tools to become thoughtful, compassionate contributors to society.

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