Society needs critical citizens who can evaluate and make sensible judgements about the enormous amount of information available throughout the Internet, television, and other forms of mass media. Research has indicated overwhelmingly the desirability of critical thinking in formal education and the key role of teachers herein. Especially primary education seems to be essential for adopting positive attitudes and cognitive behaviour because pupils are freer to formulate their thinking with less socio-cultural prejudices than adult learners. However, research on teaching methods for developing critical thinking skills is lacking. The study’s main aim therefore is to identify teaching methods that facilitate primary teachers to promote students’ critical thinking skills. Based on primary school teachers’ perception, the focus is to investigate how critical thinking skills can be fostered among pupils and what are the main related obstacles in the school environment.
A total of 21 teachers from three European schools in Brussels Capital Region (Belgium/Europe) were questioned through semi-structured interviews. Respondents had 14 different nationalities (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom) and each one worked in a specific language section of the European schools. They embody a sample of nine language sections (Czech, Dutch, English, Finnish, German, Greek, Italian, Romanian and Swedish language sections) and were representative of all the variety of different classes (from the first to the last fifth year of primary school).
The results of this research will provide some insights on how critical thinking is encouraged, and/or its obstacles. Specifically, focusing on teachers’ professional experiences, this work will contribute to define the framework for the promotion of critical thinking skills among pupils in the context of primary education.
The relevance of the outputs will also represent insights to be used for future research in this field as well as among several stakeholders (teachers, school principals, policy makers, researchers) involved in the innovative teaching methods for CT in primary education.
|Status||Published - 4 jun 2019|