Letter to the Editor
For years, a question has niggled in the back of my mind. Are we, as students, being taught how to think or what to think? Are we taught independent thought process in elementary school, high school and especially at our college or university? Or do we simply regurgitate information and memorize dogma?
Mostly, I think we’re not taught how to think for ourselves. I think we’re molded by the educational system to walk in lock step with everyone else. This inability to really use our minds is the new American way. And it’s downright pathetic.
For example, I helped run a manufacturing line at a factory for a while. Part of my job was training new employees. I hated it because most of them could not, or would not, think for themselves. One guy knocked over a huge bin of screws. He stood there just staring at the mess, until a coworker said, “Hey, pick those up!” The new guy, who had a bachelor’s in business, said he didn’t know if he was supposed to, and he didn’t know how.
He had to ask if he should clean up his mess. Shouldn’t you be able to figure something that simple out for yourself? And if the average person can’t figure out how to pick up screws without specific directions, what does that say about us?
I feel that it is especially important for a school like Cornerstone to teach us how to think. If we don’t learn how to think independently, how can we engage a world that will come up with questions our professors never imagined anyone asking?
I don’t know all the professors. I’ve had some who simply wanted students to be able to remember the right answers. I’ve had others who stretched my mind and heart by forcing me to ask the hard questions. I think the ones who share what they know and then invite open and honest discussion are the ones who get what education is supposed to be about: teaching us how to think.