My Dad’s Rotary Drill: Why Teaching Critical Thinking in Traditional Schools is Pointless

You know when you were younger and you bought your dad a present for Father's Day that you knew was cool and useful and would change his life forever? Like, say, a small high-speed rotary drill with multiple burrs? There's so much he could do with something like that, you thought. He could do eggshell engravings, carve chess pieces, make jigsaw puzzles and create toys and jewelry. And then he used it for a bit – probably just to make you happy – before popping it in the bottom kitchen draw and only using it to do silly things like screw in screws and drill holes – stuff the lazy bum always did before anyway.

I feel the same way when traditional schools talk about introducing critical thinking. I strongly doubt that they will be teaching kids to think for themselves. They will not use it in exciting new ways. It will not change what happens at these schools on any deep level. And, if it is used, it will be a corrupted, watered down version of itself, used only to reinforce the status quo rather than to challenge it.

Such a sad thing that.




  1. You will struggle to teach students:
    Critical Thinking
    Life-Long Learning
    if your means are standards and multiple-choice tests and a bunch of the same old, same old. Great metaphor Sean.


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