Surely schools are not supposed to teach critical thinking. Right?

As you know, there has been a recent uptick in banning books, in attacking teachers for teaching inconvenient truths, and in promoting undemocratic ideas and ideals. As Diane Ravitch has pointed out, schools and libraries are being pressured to remove books “about race, racism, sex education, anything related to LGBT, student legal rights, and gender.”

And, of course, as we all know, schools in southern states like Florida, Virginia, Texas, and New Hampshire (sic) are being prevented from teaching anything that is labeled Critical Race Theory, even though the label is incorrect.

Even the word “critical” in other contexts is now suspect! Critical thinking, for example, promotes socialism, according to Republicans.

It all brings me back to the time when I met Barbara back in 1981. “What’s the connection?” you ask.

Because she told me years later that one reason she decided to accept when I asked her to go on a (first) date with me was the bumper sticker on my car! It said “Question Authority,” which she found surprising. Not surprising because she disagreed—on the contrary, she wholeheartedly agreed. No, what she found surprising was that a teacher would have such a bumper sticker! But it was my sentiment from my first year of teaching in 1969 through 12 years of Lincoln-Sudbury when Barbara met me.

And then, a year later…

Reader, she married me. And my name isn’t even Rochester.

And I still believe in questioning authority.

Categories: Teaching & Learning