Critical Thinking Pedagogy
In India we have always felt strongly about reforms in the education system. The need to make education interesting and engaging has been felt for a long time. Despite the recently intiated reforms by the Ministry of Human Resources, much thought need to be put in to make education qualitative, relevant and meaningful for students.
In a small but a very significant way,Vivek High school , Chandigarh introduced a new teaching methodology for its educators in 2003- Critical Thinking. The programme has met with great success thanks to the commitment of the school and its teachers.
Critical thinking, in very broad terms simply means that a child is taught to think independently by carefully weighing the options in front of him to address issues in an open minded and fair manner. It has nothing to do with being ‘critical’ or negative as the term may suggest. In fact Critical thinking is a life skill or a way of life to help children deliberate and reach a reasoned judgement. It does not mean that the children do more work but just that they work differently.
This is a part of the institutions endeavour to impart a global dimension to the teaching- learning process. It is also necessitated by the paradigm shift in the Indian education system from rote learning and factual knowledge ( Board Examinations ) to hands – on, activity and life skills based education( Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation CCE). Each year the school invites the Vancouver based education professionals who have trained thousands of teachers in North America, Europe and Asia to train their teachers in making Critical thinking a pedagogical practice and a life skill. The 3 facilitators from Canada, Dr Roland Case, Dr Philip Balcaen and Mary Abbott are members of the TC2 – an a world renowned non- profit association of education practitioners who are devoted to promoting critical thinking skills in children in all subject disciplines through primary and secondary classes. The programme’s success can be gauged from the fact that the Core group facilitators have been invited for presentations on the pedagogy by The British School, New Delhi and it has elicited interest from several educationists and parents.