In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day this past week, I chose a quote about education from him. This quote is taken from an article he wrote for The Maroon Tiger, which was the Morehouse College Student Paper. He wrote this article, titled The Purpose of Education, when he was a junior at Morehouse, which I find interesting since I am still in college. You can read the full article, and learn more about it here or here.
While this was written with the audience being his professors and classmates, I believe it is true for any age. Critical thinking and character are important things that our students need to learn. If they do not learn these skills, then they will not be able to use the knowledge they have well.
How do we teach critical thinking and character? I've seen schools do many different things to teach these. Some that I have been in use a curriculum to teach character or even have it as a special. However, I think character is best taught by example, mini-lessons that are relatable to the students, and real life situations. Critical thinking is a skill that can be learned in all areas. It includes teaching students to think about the how and why questions, reasoning, and much more. Martin Luther King Jr. was correct in thinking that knowledge does not mean much without character and critical thinking.
So, what do you think? What is your opinion of this quote? How do you teach character and critical thinking?