On a journey to think critically

Oxford University Press

students critical thinkingColin Ward looks at how to support students to think critically in the language classroom. Colin is a Professor of ESOL at Lone Star College – North Harris in Houston, Texas. He is also a co-author of Q: Skills for Success and the forthcoming Trio Writing, both published by Oxford University Press.

As teachers, it’s not always easy to embrace uncertainty.  There is comfort in knowing exactly what a lesson will cover, what questions are going to be asked, and how students are supposed to respond.

However, a paradigm shift often occurs when teachers push students toward thinking critically.  By its very nature, critical thinking brings teachers and students to a much more ambiguous place.  There is no single correct answer—but many.  Teachers are asked to adopt a “pedagogy of questions” instead of a “pedagogy of answers.” 4  They might not have all the answers, and answers might themselves be…

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “On a journey to think critically

  1. kids today in school sit and listen. Take a test and if they memorize well, they will pass. Nope this is not teaching them to think. So I appreciate this post. We home school so that my kids can have real life experiences to explore, discover, ask questions, and think about what they touch and feel. Classroom over packed leave our teachers to follow the curriculum book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I teach fourth graders and while i get disappointed when they don’t study and therefore receive low marks on an exam, I also know I want my students to understand the process, how they arrive at answer, more than the answer itself. Grades aren’t always an accurate reflection of learning, they also tell how well I taught (or didn’t teach) the lesson.

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