To form critical citizens, education systems recognise the importance of children’s capacity to think critically, with the aim of exercising judgement using fact-based knowledge and adopting an inquiring mindset. To achieve this, schools need to better integrate Critical Thinking (CT) into their curricula. The objective of this study was to explore how primary school curriculum concerns CT, which characteristics, skills and approach are designed across the syllabi. A document analysis investigated primary school curriculum and syllabi of the European Schools’ system. The results show some of the main characteristics of instruction to foster CT (e.g., active learning, pupil-centred led, teachers’ as facilitator, cooperative learning, inquiry-based learning). More explicit instruction needs to be infused across all primary school syllabi to make CT skills more visible and create a CT habit of mind, trough the infusion approach. The results can be used for future research among stakeholders involved in innovative teaching methods.
Original languageEnglish
TypeAccepted Abstract for International Conference
Media of outputText
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2021


  • Critical thinking
  • curricula development
  • European Schools
  • Primary education


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