others caution against using the study to blame students for not applying themselves

Is our children learning?

Many of the students graduated without knowing how to sift fact from opinion, make a clear written argument or objectively review conflicting reports of a situation or event, according to New York University sociologist Richard Arum, lead author of the study. The students, for example, couldn’t determine the cause of an increase in neighborhood crime or how best to respond without being swayed by emotional testimony and political spin.

No problem, just get a job with the NY Times.

But let’s see, could it be because this “critical thinking” approach to education was used in elementary schools for years to dumb down and disparage actually learning basic math, science and reading skills? Could that be it? Could it be outcome-based education?

At some point students actually need to learn skills, not community organizing. How about actually thinking and questioning. That used to be the essence of a liberal arts education.

More. Ann Althouse on Howard Gardner. Count me a skeptic as well. Howard Gardner was big as “best practices” in our suburban elementary schools when my kids were inmates 15 years ago or so. While I think his approach had some value in highlighting how individuals learn differently, the main result was to let teachers and districts off the hook on testing, while renaming gym as kinetic wellness and justifying such impediments to learning as “math journals”. A liberal arts approach to math that worked for no one.

HT Memeorandum

UPDATE: Our PJ Mom’s take here.