Critical And Reflective Thinking In Schools Education Essay

The literatures review the literature of current chief attacks to learning doctrine in schools, peculiarly in the United Kingdom.

Dictionaries right, inspiringly, but unhelpfully define ‘philosophy ‘ as ‘love of wisdom ‘ , but a better definition would be brooding and critical inquiryaˆ¦.A preparation in critical and brooding idea, a preparation in managing thoughts, is of the kernel in this new and demanding environment. Philosophy therefore provides both the person development and enrichment, and a bright set of disposed rational tools for run intoing the universe ‘s challenges ‘

Grayling 2008: eight

Over the past 10 old ages at that place has been a turning involvement in developing attacks to assist students develop their reflective and critical accomplishments in order to assist them get by with the challenges of modern life. In the UK primary schools lament on developing these accomplishments have employed three distinguishable attacks i ) Thinking Skills two ) Inquiry based Philosophy and less normally three ) Academic Philosophy. This chapter begins with an lineation of the context to the involvement in originative and critical thought and so continues with a reappraisal and rating of the literature of the three attacks.

2.1.2 Context

There has been an increasing involvement in developing believing accomplishments which stem from the altering sentiments of the accomplishments needed in modern society ( Rose 1997 ; Abbot and Ryan, 2000 ) . One of the stated values and intents of the National Curriculum in England and Wales is that

‘aˆ¦ instruction must enable us to react positively to the chances and challenges of the quickly changing universe in which we live and work. In peculiar, we need to be prepared to prosecute as persons, parents, workers and citizens with economic, societal and cultural alteration, including the continued globalization of the economic system and society, with new work and leisure forms and with the rapid enlargement of communicating engineerings.

Increasingly, states in Europe, have reduced the demands to learn a organic structure of cognition and have promoted the usage of movable accomplishments such as critical and originative thought and job resolution to develop deep acquisition and life accomplishments relevant for the twenty-first Century ( MacBeath 1999 ; Scottish Executive Department 2000 ) . Abbot & A ; Ryan ( 2000 ) and Powney & A ; Lowden ( day of the month ) contend the demand for this alteration of accent in instruction is besides recognised by employers who wish to hold flexible and adaptable workers who have an unfastened head to alter and a committedness to lifelong acquisition

However, the purpose to better critical and originative thought without specialised programmes may be limited harmonizing to recent survey findings. The Study of Interactive Learning ( SPRINT ) undertaking ( Hargreaves & A ; Moyles 2002 ) showed that instructors increased the ratio of their inquiries to statements. However, pupil responses were seldom ‘extended ‘ and duologue remained dominated and controlled by the instructor. Hargreaves and Moyles expressed reserves about the limited demand for drawn-out thought in the National Literacy Strategy in England and other countries of the course of study. Black and Wiliam ( 1998 ) concluded that disputing students to believe independently and explore understanding through thoughtful brooding duologue were cardinal demands for raising criterions, but he adds a note of cautiousness: ‘ there is no speedy hole ‘ with promises of rapid wagess ‘ . Watkins ( 2001 ) analysed 66 surveies and concluded that an accent on acquisition and thought procedures improved learning public presentations, while an accent on public presentation marks could deject larning public presentation.

2.1.3 Thinking Skills.

The QCA ( 2004 ) places great accent on believing accomplishments ( e.g. synthesising, analyzing, measuring and warranting ) and attitudes ( e.g. open-mindedness and regard for all ) and constructs ( e.g. ‘God ‘ ‘goodness ‘ ) in Religious Education. Lake and Needham ( 1995 ) print a popular ‘text-book, ‘Top Ten Thinking Tactics ‘ and is designed to develop the capablenesss of 8-10 twelvemonth olds with 10 cognitive schemes. Feurerstein et Al ‘s ( 1980 ) Instrumental Enrichment Programme ( IEP ) provides decontextualised paper and pencil exercisings that develop in complexness through 14 ‘instruments. ‘

The Somerset Thinking Skills class ( Blagg and others. , 1988 ) consists of eight cognitive procedures drawn from Feuerstein ‘s IEP and has the aspiration of developing positive beliefs about larning to larn, beef uping job work outing thoughts, communicating and self-esteem De Bono ‘s ( 1987 ) Cognitive Research Trust ( CoRT ) Thinking programme aims to better believing accomplishments in a series of carefully structured lessons.

Research into Thinking Skills show that about all the believing accomplishments programmes and patterns studied were found to do a positive difference in the accomplishment degrees of take parting pupils. Such surveies have included Adey & A ; Shayer, 1994 ; Sternberg & A ; Bhana, 1996 ; McGuinness, 1999 ; Triceky 2000 ; Wilson, 2000. Cotton ( 2002 ) reviewed 56 surveies and found all to changing grades reported benefits to the students. Surveies which looked at accomplishment over clip found that believing accomplishments direction hastened the acquisition additions of participants, and those with true or quasi-experimental designs by and large found that experimental pupils outperformed control groups significantly

While the research for Thinking Skills programmes produce improved consequences, Tickey and Topping ( 2004 ) note that few surveies have entailed short or long-run followup. McGuinness ( 1999 ) warns that such benefits produced by these programmes may merely be short-run, while Adey & A ; Shayer, 1994 optimistically suggest that possibly there may be ‘sleeper ‘ additions that could come into consequence, long after the undertaking has ended.

However, Bonnet ( day of the month ) is leery of the thought accomplishments attack which he characterises as an musician attack to authorising students, by the transmittal of nucleus accomplishments. He inquiries whether the identified accomplishments outlined in the programmes really exist as distinct competences and abilities. He is non convinced that they can be taught ; separate from the universe as specific accomplishments which can so be applied to existent jobs. For him this creates a false separation between mind and the universe, and may even promote us to see the environment as a resource at the service of world.

Haynes ( 2002 ) is besides critical of the thought accomplishments motion, sing it as excessively mechanistic and favours the communities of doctrine enquiry attack

‘If we are concerned to develop our thought, we need to travel beyond an excessively structured, narrow and stiff tradition of logical thought and statement. This is peculiarly the instance when that type of believing takes us ever in the way of closing, polarization and the unreconcilable, and off from solution, determination or ambiguity and suspended opinion. Our accustomed ways of thought must let us to populate, in the full sense of the word, with rapid alteration and uncertainness, with unprecedented accommodations in clip and gesture every bit good as with the mundaneness of mundane life, with extremely intelligent engineering and with the tremendous power of information direction. ( Haynes 2002: 40 ) ‘

The community of philosophic enquiry may offer a manner out of instrumentalism as it still offers critical thought as it claims to offer the virtuousnesss of offer a more philosophic attack to job resolution ( Delghausen: 2004 ) .

2.1.4 Community of philosophical enquiry

The thought of community is a cardinal subject in current educational pattern and appears in a broad scope of attacks. Community of scholars ( Rogoff, Matusov & A ; n White, 1996 ) , schoolroom community ( Bridges 1995 ) , Community of pattern ( Wenger 1998 ) are illustrations of this. The thought of a community of philosophical enquiry began with the work of Pierce ( day of the month ) . Pierce, a scientist and philosopher had the end of conveying scientific cogency and logic to doctrine. Pierce ( day of the month ) , a pragmatist rejected the laterality of Cartesianism in modern doctrine, whereby the lone head can reflect on the universe and uncover truth by the procedure of logical thinking.

The philosopher/scientist asserted’aˆ¦.to make individual persons absolute Judgess of truth is most baneful ( Pierce: 229 )

‘In scientific disciplines in which work forces come to understanding when a theory has been broached, it is considered to be on probation until this understanding is reached. After it is reached, the inquiry of certainty becomes an idles one, because there is no 1 left who doubts it. We separately can non reasonably hope to achieve the ultimate doctrine which we pursue ; we can merely seek it, hence, for the community of philosophers. Hence, if disciplined and blunt heads carefully examine a theory and garbage to accept it, and ought to make uncertainties in the head of the writer of the theory himself ( Pierce: 229 day of the month & A ; page no ) ‘

The community of philosophic enquiry involves a group of people fall ining to organize a jury to judge thoughts and hypothesis. Murphy ( 1990 ) explains that when the group involved in the enquiry reaches a consensus, ‘one can talk of cognition, truth and world, but these constructs will be grounded in the community of enquirers, non in the single consciousness ‘ . Pierce believed the theoretical account of production of cognition will be refined over clip by the community of enquiry and would finally take us to the ‘real ‘ , that is reduced world.

A popular signifier of community of philosophical enquiry in Germany and the Netherlands, and to a much lesser extent, England is the Socratic Method which is based on the work of Leonard Nelson ( day of the month ) and Gustav Heckmann. ( 1981 ) Nelson believed the Socratic Method promoted the ‘forcing of heads to freedom. Merely relentless force per unit area to talk one ‘s head, to run into every counter-question, and to province the grounds for every averment transforms the power of that temptingness into an irresible irresistible impulse ‘ ( day of the month: page ) . The purpose of the enquiry is to press the students to clearly show their ideas, to utilize logic and to offer their positions for review by others. The instructors function is to utilize examining inquiries to pull out the thoughts of the students and so to complete with a group ballot to make a bulk position.

A community of enquiry attack, Philosophy for Children ( P4C ) was pioneered in America by Mathew Lipman in the sixtiess at Montclaire State University in New Jersey and was further refined by Gareth Matthews at the University of Massachusetts. Lipman ( 2003 ) used Pierces thought of a community of enquiry as the cardinal methodological analysis for doctrine lessons with kids, and he besides shared Pierce ‘s pragmatism in his attack. In add-on, he drew on theories of John Dewey ( 1916 ) , a pragmatist philosopher, who believed in the demand of educating students to play an active function in democracy. For Dewey ( using the theories of Vygotsky ‘s socio-constructivist position ) , the importance of pulling on students ‘ involvements and utilizing real-life contexts were cardinal in inventing a teaching method for citizenship. Lipman was disappointed with his pupils during the political agitation of 1968 that spread excessively many universities in America. He believed his pupils were unable to prosecute critically to the events that had begun in Paris in that twelvemonth. Lipman ( 2003 ) believed the younger coevals needed to get deeper thought accomplishments for them to democratically decide the many jobs emerging in society. Lipman felt that schools should get down a structured attack to develop the necessary accomplishments for democracy and proposed learning doctrine to pupils every bit immature as six or seven old ages old. He devised a instruction programme, Philosophy for Children which contained lessons and narratives to get down philosophical enquiry. The programme aims to develop students ‘ creative, caring and collaborative accomplishments ( Lipman 2003 ) . Typically philosophy Sessionss ( normally called enquiries ) begin with a stimulation which could be a short narrative, verse form, object or music and students are encouraged to believe of philosophical inquiries. An early innovator in the UK, Karin Murris developed image books as she found Lipman ‘s narratives ‘dated ‘ ( Murris and Haynes 2000 ) . A ballot is taken on the most favoured inquiry and the enquiry is chaired by a facilitator whose intent is to promote a adept and democratic argument. Jones ( 2008 ) , a P4C trainer notes the purpose of the enquiry is non to make a consensus but instead to let students the experience of collaborative duologue and to intensify their thought accomplishments. Disagreements are treated as valuable chances to larn to esteem different points of position.

The P4C attack to doctrine does non necessitate a formal making in the topic and can be taught to instructors in a few yearss. It has attracted a dedicated and enthusiastic following worldwide. It has spread across the universe to such locations as Australia, China, South Korea, Mexico, Norway and South Africa.

P4C continues to turn in popularity over the past two decennaries and peculiarly since the authorities ‘s Excellence and Enjoyment ( 2006 ) paper whereby schools are encouraged to develop more creativeness and invention in learning and larning attacks. Sutcliff ( 2006 ) states that in England and Wales that about 2000 primary schools offer P4C, together with 200 secondary schools ( ICPIC: 2006 ) . Catherine McCall maintains that 10,000 kids are involved in P4C lessons in Scotland, ( hypertext transfer protocol: // ) . Teaching doctrine to kids is promoted in the UK by the Society for the Advancement of Philosophical Enquiry and Reflection in Education ( SAPHRE ) , which advocates intellectually strict communal dialogic enquiry into cardinal, common and contestable constructs.

A flagship school for the UK is Galleons Primary School, London which promotes a picture that enthusiastically contends the usage of P4C has been the most important factor in assisting the school achieve an outstanding OFSTED study. The picture repeatedly reminds us that the outstanding OFSTED class has been achieved despite the fact the consumption draws on those who live in ‘social lodging. ‘ The inspectors note: quotation mark

Sternberg and Bhana ( 1996 ) studied 20 rating surveies of P4C and expressed reserves over the many positive benefits cited. They argued that most of the ratings lacked a house control group. They write:

‘issues of capable drop-out, category choice lastingness, transportation, capable population, and experimenter prejudice were by and large non addressed. Statistical analysis was frequently reported in merely the most minimum item: in some instances, significance degrees were presented with no descriptive or illative statistics ( Sternberg and Bhana: 1996 64 ) ‘

However, despite their reserves they were ‘favourably disposed toward the information reported ‘ . They acknowledged the improved additions on verbal trials of critical thought accomplishments and believed that P4C and similar programmes were more stimulating and actuating than most believing accomplishments programmes.

Fisher ( 1999 ) argues that it is debatable to measure P4C because it has a broad assortment of aims and therefore is unsuitable to be reasonably judged by most appraising instruments. Barron and Sternberg, ( 1987 ) support this position, observing that Lipman invariably changed the standard he used to measure P4C which included, the ability of pupils to supply illustrations to back up their positions, to be able joint a challenge to a equal, to inquire examining inquiries, to utilize their ain experience to warrant a position and the ability to look for connexions.

Lacewing ( 2007 ) distinguishes P4C from academic doctrine by foregrounding the function of merchandise. He claims that ‘each P4C enquiry begins ‘anew ‘ and the merchandise is ‘very probationary ‘ and has the inclination to ensue in a ‘reinvention of the wheel, ‘ Whilst academic doctrine incorporates the philosophical accomplishments of P4C, it has the advantage of pulling upon a broad scope of philosophers to intensify or broaden the enquiry. I agree with Lacewing and with Rorty ( day of the month ) who notes, entree to knowledge of cardinal philosophers and philosophical motion, allows the philosopher to be cognizant of all the moves and statements. The influence of Dewey ‘s self-discovery methods is strong in the enquiry attack, and whilst the pattern of researching thought by first-hand experience is critical, the motion, I believe underplays the axial rotation of enriching thought by tapping into the thoughts of present and past philosophers.

Wilson ( cited in Murris 2007a ) differentiates P4C by emphasizing the abstraction and the ‘higher-order ‘ thought and logical thinking of the latter. Academic doctrine is underpinned by abstract philosophizing about general rules. P4C is marked, he upholds, by philosophising about concrete illustrations. Wilson ( day of the month ) argues that P4C suffers from ‘educational political orientation ‘ . That is, it assumes that doctrine is simply quizzical, concluding and enquiry. Yet non all logical thinking, oppugning and enquiries are philosophic.

2.1.5 Academic Doctrine

I shall utilize the term academic doctrine as the survey of critical and brooding thought taught with mention to philosophers, philosophical vocabulary and cardinal thoughts. Harmonizing to mmmmm ( day of the month ) pupils learn the accomplishments of originative and critical thought but are besides able be able to associate their thoughts to the broader tradition the topic. The UK Qualifications and Curriculum Authority ( QCA ) and Eurydice at the National Foundation for Educational Research ( NFER ) hold records of the course of study syllabuses offered in 20 ‘economically developed ‘ states. The states are: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hungry, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the USA and Wales ( ) . None of these states offers doctrine as a national topic for the primary and lower-secondary age-range. In Brazil, nevertheless doctrine is a compulsory topic in most secondary and in some primary schools. In 2004 in Norway White Paper has suggested presenting doctrine as a statutory topic. The topic is being tested in primary and secondary schools. In states where the topic is taught, it normally offered as an optional topic for the post-compulsory age group. Enrolment rates for this class are normally a few the entire pupil population ( Hand & A ; Winstanley 2008 ) . For case in the U.K. there is merely one public scrutiny board offering Advance Level General Certificate of Education in doctrine. In 2007, merely 3,001 pupils finished the class, with a farther 2,009 in the same twelvemonth finishing a critical thought class ( which has a big doctrine faculty ) .

.With so few students analyzing academic doctrine in secondary schools, it is unsurprising there is a limited sum of literature of learning academic doctrine in primaries. However there are some stuffs for those wishing to develop academic doctrine for the 7-11 age group:

The few instructors who train in doctrine have specialised at the upper-end of secondary schools and hence they have non had an chance to act upon or portion good pattern in the primary sector. The popularity of P4C and Thinking Skills is due to the fact that instructors can have some initial brief preparation ( typically 1-3 yearss ) and can get down lessons instantly. Few instructors in primary schools would hold a grade in the topic and in England there is no national administration dedicated to learning academic doctrine to this age group. However, in England a little group of innovators ( based around the ‘Philosophy Shop ‘ company ) who are enthusiastic about academic ( or as they call it practical ) doctrine and respect P4C as a dilution of the subject.

Worley ( 2008 ) is an enthusiastic booster of ‘practical ‘ doctrine, which he regards as ‘real doctrine ‘ and for him ; the second-best pick is P4C. He is the manager of a commercial web site ‘The Philosophy Shop ‘ and offers preparation classs in learning doctrine for those with a background in the topic. Unlike P4C preparation which is intended for trained instructors, Worley ‘s classs are aimed at philosophers who wish to be employed as Aristotelian instructors in schools. He makes the differentiation between enquiry ( which he regards as the concern of P4C ) and practical doctrine which should merely be taught by pedagogues qualified in the subject. He acknowledges the work of Lipman ‘s and uses many of his thoughts to advance enquiries but he feels it is of import to present students to canonical philosophers and some of the cardinal inquiries posed by the topic,

. His claims that his work with kids ( presently he teaches in 13 primary schools ) shows that they can develop a scope of philosophical accomplishments and competences. These include: conceptual analysis ; abstract thought, generalization, complex logical thinking, non-empirical logical thinking, an apprehension of the history of doctrine and the ability to revaluate ( 2008 ) .

I believe the work of Worley and his co-workers offer a fruitful avenue of enquiry to develop doctrine. I agree with Worley that it of import to hold good capable cognition of doctrine to learn it efficaciously. Indeed, a instructor should be knowing about any topic he or she instructors, and I do non experience an exclusion should be made with doctrine. I besides agree with him that doctrine should developed in the spirit of Socrates be concerned with assisting us to ‘live the good life ‘ by researching one ‘s values. Philosophy lessons should concentrate on issues to assist pupils that kids can use to their day-to-day lives and to acquire them believing about their function as future citizens.

However, the drawback of learning academic doctrine, the history of the ‘famous dead ‘ may stop up being a dry topic. However, I believe Worley ‘s ( 2008 ) inherent aptitudes are right in his recognition of the strengths of Lipman ‘s philosophical enquiry attack. Despite the restrictions of enquiry methods, the strength is the varied and exciting learning methods that have been developed over the past 40 old ages. Since they have been designed for the non-specialist, attention has been placed into developing a pedagogical attack that works with students. Therefore the usage of their stuffs and classs with gives advice on utile information such as introductory games, suited literature and other get downing points, developing students ‘ responses, appraisal and taking an enquiry. SAPHERE run a web site that provides instructors with thoughts and an chance for instructors to web, and to portion good pattern with one another. I agree with Worley that the following cardinal ingredient is a instructor who loves the topic of doctrine and who can associate the responses of kids to the wider ideas of the tradition. This avoids the reinvention of the wheel and allows those students drawn to the topic to confer with philosophical texts to intensify their apprehension.

Worely ‘s practical doctrine, the enquiry attack and facets of believing accomplishments have much to offer. I support their end of bring forthing more responsible and caring citizens who are able to take an active portion in ( as AC Grayling puts it ) ‘meeting the universe ‘s challenges ‘ ( 2008 ) . However, I believe this can non be achieved by better believing entirely, but alternatively we need to develop a critical consciousness of the mostly concealed function that power has to play in the coevals of cognition or truth claims. The doctrines of Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault have done much to convey to our attending the manner power, disguised as ‘truth ‘ or ‘common sense ‘ restricts our capacity to believe or show advanced ideas. Chapter 3 contains an history of the theories of Foucault and Derrida This discrepancy of doctrine would maintain the nucleus accomplishments of the above programmes, viz. brooding, automatic critical thought but would include a consideration of the political relations of cognition.

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