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Education and Learning to Think (1987) / Chapter Skim
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Pages 2-6

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From page 2...
... To consider these fundamental questions, we need a working definition of higher order skills and an understanding of their historical role in American schools. HIGHER ORDER SKII14S: A WOR1LING DEFINITION AND A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE Thinking skills resist the precise forms of definition we have come to associate with the setting of specified objectives for schooling.
From page 3...
... Only in the last sixty years or so have the two traditions merged, at least to the extent that most students now attend comprehensive schools in which several educational programs and student groups coexist. Yet a case can be made that the continuing and as yet unresolved tension between the goals and methods of elite and mass education produces our current concern regarding the teaching of higher order skills.
From page 4...
... In the United States, village and township schools were established early, probably reflecting radical Protestant traditions as well as new definitions of citizenship appropriate to the new nation. Throughout the nineteenth century, this nation knew levels of school attendance ancI literacy ahead of most other countries, despite the continuing flow of poor and poorly educated immigrants.
From page 5...
... It did not take as goals for its students the ability to interpret unfamiliar texts, create material others would want and need to read, construct convincing arguments, develop original solutions to technical or social problems. The political conditions under which mass education developed encouraged instead the routinization of basic skills as well as the standardization of teaching and education institutions.
From page 6...
... These students' educational needs cannot be met by traditional vocational programs that no longer prepare students for productive participation in an increasingly diversified economic environment. Employers today complain that they cannot count on schools arid colleges to produce young people who can move easily into more complex kinds of work.

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