In this module, we’ll take a look at what one teacher is doing to bring critical and creative thinking into her classes. Her students are learning to take a “think locally and act globally” approach to problem‐solving and new areas of inquiry in their learning as they develop their language skills.
This is the first week in a large class of young adults. The teacher is using a content‐based approach with a Mass Media theme as a basis for the day’s activities. She is assessing students’ skills as they participate in and complete a series of tasks. Observe the sequence of activities that she has students do over the course of the class. Ask yourself, “In what ways are critical and creative thinking involved?’
The followings are examples to illustrate how a teacher can apply this step;
- Students began the class with a warm‐up and “getting to know you” activity. Students had to synthesize the information that they collected and report on it. Analysis and synthesis are good examples of higher order or critical thinking skills. Note also that this activity used integrated language skills, plus a variety of self‐management and communication strategies.
- Students worked in groups to create and perform skits that addressed a current issue or problem related to Mass Media. Students used both critical and creative thinking skills as they analyzed the problem or task, wrote the script, and then performed it together. Do you think the students got their “message” across? Why, or why not?
It is hoped that a teacher can take a critical and creative approach both to your own teaching and to the learning that students experience in your classroom. Let English be the medium through which they expand their minds and through which they then apply that thinking in the world beyond. For us and for them, the sky is the limit!
to get a checklist for doing this step, click the following link: critical and creative thinking skills.
This information is taken from “Shaping the Way We Teach English”, module 9.