I’m fairly confident that the single biggest failure of our education system is the lack of critical thinking in the curriculum. (I can’t say I’m sure this is the biggest failure, because that would violate the laws of critical thinking, as I haven’t done the necessary research.)
In my K-12 education, I don’t recall ever discussing practical logic in a meaningful way (other than the scientific method). There were what seemed to be token attempts at encouraging real thought—those “Reflection” questions at the end of chapters in history books: “Would it have been possible to ratify the constitution without the Bill of Rights? Why or why not?” But these were more attempts at encouraging opinion than thought. It would be considered in poor taste to tell students their thinking was wrong (which would often, inevitably be the case).
My main evidence for this claim of non-thought is the best-seller status of this douche bag, Kevin Trudeau. You’ve probably seen his infomercials on late-night TV.
He is truly despicable. His existence could only possibly be justified as a classic example of fallacy-laden, con-artist scum, to be taught as such in classes on scum. He’s the guy telling diabetics to stop taking their insulin, sunscreen causes cancer, and a certain type of calcium cures cancer. Oh, by the way, he just happens to sell this type of calcium, call now!
Well, that’s not actually true. He doesn’t sell it anymore. Because he was sued by the Federal Trade Commission for making false claims. He settled by paying $2 million, and was banned from selling any products on infomercials ever again (although, the way he tells it in interviews, the FTC “dropped the charges”). Thanks to our effing constitutional right to free speech, however, he’s allowed to sell books, which purport to contain the hidden secrets that the massive worldwide Government-Pharmaceutical-Food Industries conspiracy is keeping from you because they want you to be fat and in pain, but these secrets aren’t technically in the book (which has been censored by the big, mean FTC who have been persecuting poor Kev for years when his only real crime was wanting to help people!), but the book directs you to sign up for his monthly internet newsletter, which really contains the cures, for a nominal fee, of course.
He is vile beyond words. Think about it.