Sunday, May 17, 2009

Cognitive rational for tolerance

Last fall, I conducted some fun action research in a third grade classroom. It had to do with the cognitive thought patterns that appear through concept mapping. The linking words are the key components which show the cognitive pattern of the map designer.

I have related the idea to methods of assessing theological studies in a secondary classroom. Let's say we break down the idea of tolerance to college bound seniors. Here is a schema they may come up with.

If students were to write a reflection on the given concept map, would they determine that 'to be tolerant, is to allow anything as defined by one person's own learned principles'?

(It already seems like tolerance is a child's game where the kid in charge makes the rules, but let's continue.)

It's possible that top percentage and low percentage students would come to that conclusion. But what if we throw in an application question?

1. Using the concept map of tolerance, determine the answer to the following. Mr. X has decided he does not want legs anymore and tells the amputating surgeon his reasons. According to tolerance, what should the surgeon say and do?

2. Using the concept map of tolerance, determine the answer to the following. Miss So-in-so has been pregnant for 6 months and has decided that she doesn't like the idea of a baby and wants to get rid of it. She 'dialogues' with the local doctor who does not believe in abortion. According to tolerance, what should the doctor say and do?

3. Using the concept map of tolerance, determine the answer to the following. You have decided to talk about your faith priciples and act on what you believe are right choices that are rational and reasonable. The neighborhood home owners association has decided that there is a 'tolerance' policy in the neighborhood you live in and you are violating it because you have spoken out about your reasonable faith principles to a neighbor who does not care for faith solicitation. Explain how the HOA came to their decision.

If we are rational Americans, then we cannot TOLERATE all things. Toleration is the twisted term for temperance. One definition I looked up for tolerance included the words 'undogmatic viewpoint.' That should give a very large red flag for anyone spouting tolerance as a replacement for truth.

All I can say is, What a load of crap the country is being fed.