....a regular reader at Think Atheist. To the chase. I am , generally, active on atheist internet sites. My hobby horse is public education as a vehicle for freeing thought, for skepticism, for reliance on empiricism and for all those skills which can create an atheist acceptance of life experiences.

I did a search of the site with the word 'education' and found no groups dedicated to that issue.  Is ThinkAtheist about thinking? Is it about learning?  

I would appreciate some references to discussions about education.

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Hm. I kind of always assume that the majority of people on this website are already very well educated, especially on religion.

I've probably forgotten more than I've retained when it comes to religion. 

Great. I already have a post in mind.

Did you get it fixed?

I would like to see philosophy and logic taught on the high school level. I guess it would be now, save for strong public opposition to letting kids get into difficult discussions about strongly-held beliefs.

Do you have a stragegy for getting around this resistance?

1. Convince the public that our ability to compete economically depends on our childrens' ability to think critically, deeply, and creatively. People need to see the potential for payoff before they invest. 

2. Challenge cultural ideals about "sheltering" children from "the world." We need to show children the world...and how to make their way in it. We don't need to coddle them but to challenge them within reason.

3. Make intellectual endeavors sexy. The tech. revolution has turned the idea of cool on its head. Now geeks can be cool. It needs to go farther.

Now, how to make the backward-facing public receptive to such forward-thinking ideas.

The vehicle would be marketing. Celebrity endorsements? Pop culture will have to play a role to reach the masses. Internet campaigns...? Comics and graphic novels? More shows like the big bang theory (but widen the appeal). 

The message(s): we'd have to frame the fruits of doing philospohy in capitalist terms of sucess? Show how the new economy requires a new recipe for sucess, where education is the foundation and creative, logical minds have the competitive advantage. Tie "healthy risk taking" to exposing children to new ideas. Reach conservatie people by speaking in terms of 'intellectual work ethic increases individual liberty.' Reach liberal people by talking about 'opening the road to social betterment.' Reach kids by providing good free-thinking role models in pop culture who do and have the things kids want.

it will be tough to convince a public that thinks the world's knowledge stopped when the canon of scripture closed 1800 years ago the thinking is actually a requirement for successful living!

the church and religions in general are highly successful without any real need for thinking other than how next to fleece the 'dumb' sheeples...

as society grows away from religion, the critical thinking will not be needed to be pushed as it is a by-product of 'why does that work that way' thinking... this thought is not needed by a religious society.. ask the republican party.. sigh..

I do not disagree. But education should not be about belief at all . Education should be about facts and successful ways to use facts to improve. If belief will save the children dying of Vit. A deficiency, I have no quarrel. But belief causes so many deaths in the world, I have no hope for it.

These things would help. But if you study the curriculum in your area will you find a requirement for teaching scientific thinking in the primary schools? 

You will very soon here in Ireland. This could be a template for schools everywhere. There is no way we will not let this happen in Ireland.


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