Critical thinking is an important key component for one’s education or career, such as breathing is essential to living. It is used for every type of position or daily situations that can help prepare an individual to think for themselves and have a different outlook on a situation. Pre-university education should have major improvements in their school because their programs do not sufficiently equip students to have critical thoughts and to prepare them for college. Schools across our nation could better prepare students’ critical thinking skills by diminishing grade inflation, ceasing intellectualism biases, and increase funding to school art programs.
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In the past few years, college’s grading guidelines have become excessively benign to the extent that they are causing an increase in grade inflation across America. In Why Colleges Shower Their Students with A’s, Staples explains that “some departments shower students with A’s” because “students are treating grades as a matter of life and death- occasionally even suing to have grades revised upward”. I have seen this firsthand at my previous high school, where certain teachers would bump up their student’s grade to an A because the students would beg constantly or even threaten them. Students should obtain a grade that indicates how much effort they applied with learning, rather than teachers handing out free A’s to those who do not deserve it. Doing this will encourage the students to work and think more critically to show the true value of their education comes with working hard for it.
If you’ve ever watched a typical high school movie, the intellectual student who displays their smarts is often seen as an outcast or a nerd. It demonstrates a perspective that only high scholars have intellectualism, but as for Gerald Graff that is false. In the story of Hidden Intellectualism, Graff presumes that “street smarts” can conquer “book smarts” with critical thinking skills based on his past childhood debates, indicating the “hidden intellectualism”. From his reading, he talks about how having a dispute with his friends helped him improve on his critical thinking while establishing a reasoning, conclusion, and evidence. It shows that there shouldn’t be a bias line between who is more of an intellectual compared to another student because everyone has the ability to think critically and recognize the hidden intellectualism inside of them. By adding current modern topics into classroom activities, students would effortlessly progress into thinking more critical throughout their education.
Art can be seen all around us and is a fundamental necessity for society. People have created art, such as paintings and sculptures, since the earliest of ages, but now it is evolved into more of the STEM region with technology. The study of art also advances a person’s critical thought by perceiving society or situations through their own viewpoint. There is a story relating to this called The Sanctuary of School written by Linda Barry. She tells the story of her kinder years when she would escape her chaotic home early in the morning, feeling unwanted, and go to school. Barry feels a sense of belonging when greeted by the school staff and expresses her feeling through her creativity in painting. She states that doing this activity was like her “life raft”, in a sense, that she could take back home with her. The point of the story is that having more art programs in schools should be a technique used that can educate students to examine the world they live in and gives them the ability to have good critical thinking skills.
By enhancing critical thinking exercises in a pre-university classroom will help students achieve more when evaluating a situation with their future careers or education. Education is to cultivate learners, who are adequately knowledgeable and that they feel their ideas are valuable enough to be said in their communities. Students have the desire to think critically and be well-grounded to use the information given to express what they know to enrich their lives and feel like they have made a positive impact in their classroom.
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