Dr Richard Paul, who is considered an authority on critical thinking, established this foundation. It provides a vast array of information applicable to teachers including both theories on critical thinking and practice-based examples. This is provided in many forms such as professional commentary, research papers and excerpts from books. It does also provide materials for purchase. It is well organized for teachers to easily find information relating to a particular age group. This resource did work as a confirmation of other sources in some regards, such as age not being a factor in thinking ability, but it also offered alternative insights. For instance, it suggested that while critical thinking strategies are best taught within real life problems, they can be learned when taught separately of other content.
Stephen Brookfield has written books on the teaching of critical thinking. In this article he examines the definition of critical thinking from four perspectives and relates each of these to classroom practice. While his research was conducted with adult learners, it confirmed social learning processes are the best practice when teaching critical thinking skills. Many studies with younger learners report this but also note the difficulty in measuring the outcomes. I found it particularly interesting that the subjects also saw critical thinking skills as a developmental process rather than an age related skill. This extends the ideas presented in other articles. The discussion of theories in this articles was clear and concise. However, as it is focused on adult learners, many of the practical examples and ideas provided would not be appropriate for a primary school classroom.
This book chapter discusses strategies for embedding critical thinking skills into the curriculum through the lens of classroom climate. It confirms the effectiveness of strategies such as questioning and discussion but extends this to examine how we, as teachers, can allow students to feel confident expressing their ideas. It also extends my thinking by considering the importance of values and beliefs when thinking critically. It provides many applicable examples of this, however teachers would benefit from more practical examples of classroom organisation and activities.
As a practicing teacher, the author of this article considers a range of oral based teaching strategies that can be used to extend critical thinking skills. While the examples provided are from a secondary school setting, I can see how they could easily be transferred to lower year levels. The article is clearly organised to discuss each strategy or skill separately. The paper also serves as a professional conversation in that the author has used personal observations and experience. These are very useful practical examples time poor teachers need, rather than scholarly research.
This article was highly relevant to my primary inquiry question as it detailed research into the different ways of learning critical thinking skills. It suggested a combination of techniques are best practice and introduced the idea of mentorship enhancing critical thinking ability. This article also introduced the notion of age not being a factor in critical thinking ability. This idea was later confirmed by other sources. The method used for the study was detailed extensively and there was a good discussion of areas for further research. The discussion of the results was concise.
This source was a useful starting point in my research as it discusses the components of critical thinking as well as considering a variety of critical thinking theories from respected educational researchers. It specifically addressed my inquiry question stating evidence for the practice of embedding critical thinking skills rather than teaching stand alone programs. It also led me to further question the classroom climate required for critical thinking skills to occur and whether particular critical thinking skills are subject specific. However, it is written in an academic manner dense in theories with few practical examples provided to demonstrate the authors suggested best practice.
As a primary school teacher, I found this article exciting. I often wonder if I am asking too much of my students but this confirmed that young students are extremely capable of critical thinking. It is a practical example of how critical thinking skills can be embedded into the transdisciplinary curriculum of a primary school. While the article details one teacher's experience, the author has provided a thorough reference list to substantiate her observations. The article provides a clear set of steps, highlighting those parts that are most important, in order for readers to easily replicate the discussion based activity.
This is a not for profit foundation which focuses on providing innovative ideas and inspiration to educators around the world. The variety of topics is vast which makes it highly useful as a resource. The authors also vary so the authority needs to be carefully considered each time, although there is an involved submission process conducted by the foundation prior to acceptance and publication. The content is organized by topic making it easy to navigate the website. This resource encourages innovation by teachers and as such provides many practice based examples and teaching strategies. It also has a discussion platform allowing further consideration and collaboration. The use of social media to share information enhances its currency as a resource.
Mindshift is an organisation that aims to share innovative ideas to enhance the educational opportunities for all students. It has a variety of content allowing the viewer to find items that are relevant at that point in time. The content is contributed by various authors so the authority of each needs to be reviewed. The articles are often short pieces, which work to inspire educators to further research. There are many practical ideas rather than a comprehensive discussion of theories. This source extended my thinking of strategies to engage students in critical thinking.
This website explains a variety of project based research conducted by academics at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The projects revolve around many areas of education but each is current and innovative. In response to my inquiry question I examined the ‘thinking routines’ project. This allowed me to further my understanding by focusing on the practical elements of the question. It detailed many teaching strategies that could be used within any inquiry. All the practical strategies are based on extensive research. Information is well organised and provided in a variety of formats eg. articles, videos and books. It also utilises social media to engage and innovate educators worldwide.