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К содержанию номера журнала: Вестник КАСУ №2 - 2008

Автор: Богун Анастасия Юрьевна

The actuality of the given theme is caused by demands of society in a personality that possesses certain qualities of thinking. Freedom of thinking means its critical focus oriented on creative and constructural activity.

The demands of society in critical thinking person increases the significance of the problem of development the corresponding thinking qualities. The difficulties in formation and development of critical thinking are caused by the absence of category of «Critical thinking» in science and of category itself in didactics. The purpose of investigation: To find out pedagogical conditions for the most effective development of critical thinking of students by means of philosophy. Hypothesis of investigation is the effective development of critical thinking of students in educational process demands:

1) Generalization of the idea of critical thinking in didactics;

2) Formation of model of critical thinking as a combination of its qualities;

3) Discovery of development possibilities of students’ critical thinking;

4) Substantion of methodology, that provides development of critical thinking in educational process.

Language is the chief means by which the human personality expresses itself and fulfills its basic need for social interaction with other persons.

The aim of the foreign language in primary schools is to develop pupils` skills and understanding English speech and participating in conversation based on the topics covered.

The main aim of my article is to make us aware of all the processes involved in critical thinking. Language learners often think that all their difficulties in thinking are due to their inadequate knowledge of the target language. The purpose of my term paper is to share some activities that I have applied at my lessons and that my students enjoyed. The objective of these activities is to make students practice their oral skills with interesting, motivating topics that allow them to think about themselves and others and to express their points of view. The idea is to get them talk, which is something that secondary school students love to do. When the activities are carefully presented, students will be eager to use their English language skills, which, of course, is the point.

There are exercises designed for students who are learning English as a Second or Foreign Language for work purposes. It can be used for native speakers who are learning English for future work. There are can be used by itself or a complement to other text.

Defining the term is rather uneasy: it includes too many various parameters: skills, kinds of activity, values. So, actually, what do we mean, when we say «critical thinking»?There are many definitions in the literature, and all of them stay in the consent with each other. Meanwhile, this phenomenon should be equally clear to everybody: from the teacher of initial classes up to teachers of university, to teachers of the most various ethnoses and cultures, therefore its definition should be flexible enough. And though readers work on the most various sites of an extensive field, we all hope, that we shall manage to come nearer to such definition of critical thinking on which it will be possible to lean in the further conversation. Before passing the definition of the term, we shall consider some kinds of cerebration to name which “critical thinking” is impossible. I think that simple storing not is critical thinking.

Storing - the major cogitative operation without which educational process is impossible, but from critical thinking it differs cardinally. A computer memory is much better, than almost at any of us, however we understand, that its ability to remember is not thinking. However, many school teachers appreciate memory above any thinking and check exclusively volume of memory of pupils on control works and examinations, but, supporters of critical thinking are guided by more complex kinds of activity.

Other kind of "noncritical thinking” without which there can not be an educational process too, is connected with understanding the complex ideas. At lessons of biology and mathematics, history and the literature it is necessary sometimes for pupils as it is necessary to work as they have to understand, what the teacher speaks about or what is written in the textbook. Understanding is a complex cogitative operation, especially if a material is not from the easiest ones. For example: the student tries to understand Shakespeare's sonnet or puzzles over the theorem of points of an extremum. In his head, it is certainly, there is a complex intellectual process, but it is not yet the critical thinking.

Some teachers will disagree with me, thinking, that the true understanding always means critical thinking as the pupil translates another's ideas on language understandable for him and a cogitative level. Nevertheless, when we work on understanding of another's idea, at the first stage our own thinking is passive: we only perceive what has been created up to us by someone, and the critical thinking occurs, when the new, already understood ideas are checked, estimated, developed and applied. Storing the facts and understanding the idea are necessary conditions for critical thinking, however, they, even in the set, do not make critical thinking.

First, the critical thinking is thinking independent. When employment takes place on principles of critical thinking, everyone formulates the ideas, estimations, belief irrespective of the others. Nobody can critically think for us and to form about it their own opinion.The critical thinking is not obliged to be absolutely original: we have the right to accept idea or belief of other person as own. Even it is pleasant to us to agree with someone's opinion as if it confirms our correctness.The critical thinking is something obviously good, certain skill which will allow us to succeed in 21 century.

Secondly, the information is starting, and at all a terminal point of critical thinking. The knowledge creates motivation without which the person cannot critically think. As people sometimes speak, « it is difficult to think with an empty head ». To generate a complex idea, it is necessary to process mountain of "raw material" - the facts, ideas, texts, the theories given, concepts. In Slovakia I had one problem with students, in America opposite: my American students frequently badly remember that has been studied, therefore, each new author, each poem amazes with their absolute novelty. It is necessary to me to make a footpaths from old - to new together with them, to restore skeletons of knowledge, again and again to go deep into an actual material, differently there will be a few advantages of critical skills. I am not going to equate critical thinking to traditional studying the facts at all - clearly, that actual knowledge by no means do not settle it. However teaching work is not reduced to one training of critical thinking: we learn the wards to perceive the most complex concepts and to keep in memory the diversified data.

To think it is critically possible at any age: not only at students, but even at first-graders it is saved up for knowledge. Certainly, powers of thinking of children will be improved even at training, but even kids are capable to think critically and quite. In the cognitive activity pupils and teachers, writers and scientists subject each new fact to critical considering. Owing to critical thinking traditional process of knowledge finds individuality and becomes comprehended, continuous and productive.

Thirdly, the critical thinking begins with statement of a question and explanation of problems which need to be solved. We notice something new - and we wish to learn. We see a certain sight - and we already would like to get inside. However original, cognitive process at its any stage is characterized by aspiration learning to solve problems and to answer the questions arising from its own interests and needs.

Fourthly, the critical thinking aspires to the convincing argument. Critically conceiving person finds own decision of a problem and supports this decision reasonable, sound arguments. He also understands, other decisions of the same problem are possible, and tries to prove, that the chosen decision is more logical and more rational. Critically conceiving person cannot be manipulated.

The argument wins if to consider existence of possible counterarguments which either are challenged, or admit admissible. The recognition of other points of view only strengthens the argument.

And, at last, fifthly, the critical thinking is thinking social. Any idea is checked and perfected, when her share with others, - or as philosopher Hanna Arendt writes, «perfection can be reached only in one’spresence ». When we argue, we read, we discuss, we object and we deepen own positions. Therefore the teachers working in a vein of critical thinking pay the big attention to development of the qualities necessary for a productive exchange by opinions: tolerance, skill to listen to others, the responsibility for own point of view.

All items of this definition of critical thinking can be embodied in various kinds of educational activity, but best of them - both for the teacher, and for pupils - is, as it seems to me, written work. On the letter process of thinking becomes visible and, hence, accessible to the teacher. Writing is always active. It always to think independently and uses thus all a luggage of knowledge available.

For study of communication in the process of thinking in school I made an experiment, which includes three phases. The first phase included the choice of the lessons’ themes and of techniques and resources to use there, and the research for the showing up of the students’ attitude to the English lessons, especially to the lessons of critical thinking.

On the second phase I was creating the environment of communication and independence in the teaching- thinking process. I took all 3 pictures (activities) during the lessons in each of two classes, using in them special techniques and resources, which I had chosen from ones described in the theoretical part of the research in compliance with themes of the lessons.

К содержанию номера журнала: Вестник КАСУ №2 - 2008

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