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Education is about critical thinking

The Editor,  The Wellingtonian,  Wellington

25 February, 2016

Dear Editor:

Frank Macskasy (18 Feb) reminds us what never should have been forgotten, namely that education, including tertiary level, is primarily about inspiring critical thinkers and socially minded individuals. The ‘private good’ aspect of education should have been kept in check so that this country wouldn’t today have its startling reluctance to deal with fundamental challenges like climate change and debilitating student debt.

It was fifty years ago that we saw photos of the earth from space and began to experience unprecedented problems from pollution locally and in the global atmosphere.   It became clear that dealing with that would take a new approach to politics and economics, hence education, based on local and global communal priorities.

I don’t think it has been a dumbfounded coincidence that education has been led in just the opposite direction over the last 30 years here in New Zealand, and over that 50 year period globally.   Those who have been in charge knew that the notion of a government based primarily on the exploitative ‘private good’ philosophy had reached it use by date and needed to be relegated to the dustbin of history.  But the world view which has been destroyed is an aggressive one and its adherents are not going to go quietly.

Sincerely,

Richard Keller

published Thur 03/03/16

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