What is Needed to Develop Critical Thinking in Schools?
Starting with the fact that school education has failed to become education for critical thinking and that one of the reasons for that could be in how education for critical thinking is conceptualised, this paper presents: (1) an analysis of the predominant approach to education for critical thinking through the implementation of special programs and methods, and (2) an attempt to establish different approaches to education for critical thinking. The overview and analysis of understanding education for developing critical thinking as the implementation of special programs reveal that it is perceived as a decontextualised activity, reduced to practicing individual intellectual skills. Foundations for a different approach, which could be characterised as the ‘education for critical competencies’, are found in ideas of critical pedagogy and open curriculum theory. This approach differs from the predominant approach
in terms of how the nature and purpose of critical thinking and education for critical thinking are understood. In the approach of education for critical competencies, it is not sufficient to introduce special programs and methods for the development of critical thinking to the existing educational system. This approach emphasises the need to question and reconstruct the status, role, and power of pupils and teachers in the teaching process, but also in the process of curriculum development.
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