Change in mindset needed for PEP
THE EDITOR, Sir:
For the most of my school life, I have been labelled a disruptive student. I do not throw paper across the room, nor pinch my classmates: I simply ask questions. I have always been curious/ inquisitive, so much so that my grandmother has always said, "This one go become a lawyer."
In comes PEP, that wants students to be more analytic, question the world they live in, and to pull out knowledge from themselves by reasoning with each other. What of the educators that were in the classrooms when I was in high school and are still there? The ones that insisted that asking questions was rude and that students should be seen and not heard? It is going to be a mammoth task for educators of two or more decades to change their modus operandi to encouraging self-teaching, critical thinking and analysis among their students.
Changing one's mindset without a reset orientation or reprogramming is most difficult. Minister Ruel Reid needs to revisit the strategies being used to introduce critical thinking into the curriculum. Teachers who are saying they are not ready should be an amber alert to the minister. What we do not want is for teachers and students to develop an even greater resistance towards critical thinking because of how it has been introduced to them. Proper transitions are most important. Training and collaboration with persons who already instruct in the areas of critical (analytic) thinking is important. When there was a problem with mathematics and science passes, teachers were encouraged to specialise in these areas, scholarships were given, and trainers were brought in to improve and collaborate on the STEM programmes organised by the Government. How much more important to our overall growth and development are critical-thinking skills?