Problems with Teaching Critical Thinking

It’s not actually the teaching part I’m having trouble with. My sons have been taught since they were old enough to talk, and probably before that, to listen to the message and look at what it actually means. They’re very good at dissecting information. They don’t just listen to people and agree with them. (Me, included.)

However, tonight my youngest walked out of class at church because his teacher disagreed with him. The teacher asked what the Bible was about. My son said, “Love, grace, redemption, and mercy.” His teacher said no. And then he proceeded with his two page plan on what the Bible was about: man, sin, Abraham, Moses, the Babylonians, the kings, Jesus’ death, Jesus’ resurrection… M stayed for the whole of the Old Testament discussion and part of the New Testament discussion and then he left. Perhaps the teacher thinks he went to the bathroom.

So, what did I tell him? I told him he was correct about the meaning of the Bible and he was wrong to walk out of class. I told him that even if the teacher were totally wrong, he could still listen. (And I mentioned our old preacher saying things like, “You’re not a good Christian if you have any debt.”) And I mentioned listening and gleaning the good/the point out of the other person’s point of view. (Which is why I read two left wing blogs on top of multiple right wing blogs that sometimes don’t agree with my perspective.)

Now he doesn’t intend to go back to Wednesday night class ever again. His dad doesn’t go. His older brother doesn’t go. Why should he have to go?

And I am sad in my heart for the joy lost and for the easy way of not going back chosen. But he’s right. The only reason the two of us were going is because he wanted to go.