Is Your Thinking HOT or Not?

  • 18 Sep 2012
  • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Marie Callendar's Restaurant 9503 Research Blvd. Austin, TX 78759

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Is Your Thinking HOT or Not?

In July, the members of the Central Texas World Future Society held a roundtable discussion to identify some of the Top Priorities for Futurists. One of the key educational issues discussed has a much broader impact than the others because it is a skill everyone needs to understand and manage the challenges of the future. The subject we discussed was the teaching of “higher order thinking skills” in public schools, particularly in light of a recent change in the Texas Republican party platform which included strong language proposing that the Texas Education Agency remove this curriculum from all Texas public schools. Even though the members discussed a variety of futures subjects, such as energy, water & natural resource shortages, transportation, computers, healthcare, etc., the common element required to understand all of them was the necessity for people to have well developed critical thinking skills. The complexity of today’s problems, and the non-linear nature of them, requires a much higher level of thinking and analysis. Taking this training out of schools seemed to be the exact opposite of what the state needs to secure a more desirable future. The consensus opinion of the members present, was that CTXWFS should become a strong advocate supporting the teaching of higher order thinking skills. Much of the confusion over this element of the school curriculum comes from a misunderstanding of the terms and the intentions of the training. The need to challenge conventional wisdom and search for new scientific explanations of observed phenomenon, has somehow been perverted into a threat to parental authority and religious beliefs. One of the first steps the group identified was to hold a special meeting to educate our members on the exact definition of “higher order thinking skills” (HOTS).

About Our Speaker
We are fortunate to have Cyd Rogers this month to help walk us through this complicated subject. As a former classroom teacher who taught gifted and talented students for 27 years and now serves as Director of the Texas Future Problem Solving Program, she has worked for more than 34 years to train students in the art and processes of critical thinking. Cyd has a Master of Arts degree in Special Education for the Gifted & Talented and a BS in Bilingual Elementary Education. Because of her active involvement in statewide educational issues she will also bring us a brief update on the legislative status of TFPS and the changes underway to the Republican position on this issue, resulting from the negative reactions to their proposed platform language banning the teaching of HOTS. As part of our continuing effort to offer more interactive programming at our meetings, the members will participate in a few exercises that offer concrete examples of the methodology used to teach the kind of critical thinking skills that students and adults will need to deal with the complex world of the future.
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