What are Teacher Perceptions of Critical Thinking and how do they Develop the Critical Thinking of the Pupils they Teach? A Case Study from an Inner London Secondary School
Critical thinking is regarded as an important skill for the workforce in order to better compete in an increasingly globalised world. This is resulting in it becoming a more prominent educational goal in many countries. In England, the goal of critical thinking development of pupils is more nuanced, but it remains an important skill in order for pupils to achieve high grades in publicly reported national examinations. Given the critical thinking context, this research explores teacher
... isations of critical thinking, how these are formed, and the value teachers place on the critical thinking development of their pupils. Teachers share the factors they believe better enable as well as inhibit critical thinking development. The case study approach allows for a 'thick description' of classroom pedagogies used by teachers to develop critical thinking and identifies reasons behind their choice of activities. The research findings demonstrate that the broader critical thinking environment influences the teachers' perceptions and practice of critical thinking. Furthermore, the teachers' belief that pupils should be challenged to think critically means they focus on employing a range of techniques to develop critical thinking at all stages in the pupils' secondary education. There is a need for further developing teachers' conceptual understanding of critical thinking and how it can be developed. This will improve the likelihood of pupils becoming critical thinkers after they leave formal education.