Selasa, 03 Maret 2015

How to Develop Student's Critical Thinking Skills?



The 21st century is an era whereas a massive change in all areas. This change will occur continuously. Education is also experiencing the impact of these changes. Orientation of education have to change direction to focus on the future for create a superior generation that are able to critically assess the situation and adapt in new environments. One of the competencies needed in the 21st century is the ability to think critically. In line with this, the learning in school should be directed to develop student's critical thinking skills. Therefore, the teacher as a facilitator must be able to perform the learning process that facilitates students to develop their critical thinking skills.

Perceptions of critical thinking are highly varied and not always based on an informed understanding of the identity and nature of critical thinking. We can say that critical thinking is the intellectually disciplines process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. Profile of critical thinker as this following:


Critical Thinking
Non-Critical Thinking
Epistemological Standpoint:
     shades of gray - strives for depth
     interdisciplinary
     knowledge is open
     knowledge is intertwined with thinking
     black and white - superficial level
     uni- or adisciplinary
     knowledge is closed
     knowledge is independent of thinking
Modes of Inquiry:
     rational and consistent
     strives to learn how to think
     holistic/webbed
     original/insightful
     multiple frames of reference
     irrational and inconsistent
     strives to learn what to think
     uni-disciplinary/linear
     relies on second-hand information
     one or very limited frames of reference
Concrete Strategies for Thinking:
     suspends closure
     explores/probes
     questions
     fair-minded
     active
     collaborative/communal
     precise language
     strives for closure
     dogmatic/avoiding
     doubting
     ego/ethnocentric/emotional
     passive
     authoritative
     vague language

Habitual nature of learning process right now are: (1) teachers tend to teach the way they were taught which is content acquisition valued over learning process, (2) students tend to learn only what will be assessed with time, attention and focus geared at factual learning, and (3) assessments tend to emphasize content over thought with questions designed around ease of grading, textbook knowledge, time-constraints of testing, etc.

Periodically, teachers have to reflect their learning process. They can make the following questions: (1) how do I teach? (2) What does my classroom experience look like? (3) What strategies am I currently using to promote critical thinking? (4) Is my teaching method effectively meeting my critical thinking goals? (5) How do I know that my students are utilizing critical thinking strategies?

When learning takes place, the teachers should give students opportunity to ask and answer questions. They expose students to varying opinions and resources, encourage multiple solutions, not one right answer. Students try to frame the real problems and solve them.

Finally, to develop student's critical thinking skills, teachers can make over the learning process by change the goal, that is to create opportunities to teach critical thinking in their learning.  They can select at least two of the following to accomplish in the next 45 minutes: (1) revise their learning description to communicate how critical thinking will be integrated in their learning, (2) rewrite learning objectives to reflect teaching for critical thinking, (3) create/modify assignments to teach for critical thinking, (4) develop critical thinking evaluation tools for their learning, and (5) develop/modify a specific lesson to teach for critical think. (MP)

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1 komentar:

  1. Great ideas to improve teaching. But to bring the principles into reality--in school--is still far away to go. Firstly, we as lecturers of teacher training institution have to implement the principles properly and intensively in daily teaching. At the same time we will create trickle down effect, when our teaching act as real example for our student-teacher (mhs. keguruan) on the implementation of the principles. Secondly, we as mentor of field teaching practice (PPL) have to guide the student-teacher properly on the implementation of the principles, not giving most of the control to classroom teacher who tend to do teaching as usual.

    BalasHapus