More analytical thinking needed in schools


I recently read the opinion letter of Brock Ervin (Sept. 20). Several times as a matter of fact. The only idea I could grasp from it, is that everyone should believe only what Mr. Ervin believes and we should teach kids to blindly follow the ideals of a few without question.

We have not all been so lucky as to participate in an Earth science class, but we can see in the news many examples of professors exploiting too much power over their students to unprofessionally sway them with their beliefs. I remember in the 1970’s a teacher telling me gasoline will be exhausted within a few years if society did not immediately change their ways. I have traveled a lot of miles since then. Another told us that glass will be obsolete in a few years and completely replaced with plastic. That did not happen, and plastic has since become a big environmental problem. In the 1930’s consideration was given to shutting the U.S. Patent Office down because, “Everything that can be invented already has.” Imagine the technology our world has developed since that point. The incredible hole in the ozone layer in the 1980’s also coincided with the invention of technology to record the data. The media and others immediately cried that the sky is falling because it sells papers.

If you carefully listen to the naysayers, they will claim that those who oppose them do not believe in “climate change.” I have never seen that denial in print or media. The discussion should be about what is causing the change, and that cannot be accomplished with one-sided opinions. Our earth has experienced many climate changes. Areas that were once oceanic are now wastelands. Are we to believe that man has so much power that he can impact the universe also? This earth will likely be here after man is long gone.

Students should be learning about climate change milestones, but not just from a few selected scientists. Include Richard Tol and those who question the theory and have an intellectual discussion instead of furious demands.

Mr. Ervin is accurate; we need to develop a world that has a better understanding of our place and a plan to have less negative impact. We need to look at our world as a whole. Expecting students to blindly fill in the answers will not accomplish the goals. Creating students who problem solve and open their eyes to possibilities may.

It seems the letter promotes the idea that students should blindly regurgitate the test questions and not think or evaluate any given situation. This incredibly flawed school system, according to Mr. Ervin, daring to teach analytical thinking of the troubles in our world sounds like one I would like to send my kids.

Dale F. Hughes




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