Teaching Critical Thinking Skills in Large Classes

Mohamed Elfatihi


Developing learners’ critical thinking skills (CTS) has become the goal of education in general and higher education in particular. This is mainly due to the spread of technology, the change in job market requirements and the belief that CTS improve the civic, personal and professional life of individuals. Multiple definitions were given to the term ‘critical thinking’, but Ennis (1985) is adopted here, and Facione’s (1994) classification of CTS is used as a basis. It comprises six major skills, specifically interpretation, analysis, evaluation, inference, explanation and self-regulation, each of which includes sub-skills. There are three approaches to teaching of CTS: Process, content and mixed approach, and a number of classroom techniques are used, three examples of which are described, especially questioning, argument analysis and problem solving. When CTS are taught in large classes many challenges arise. These are classified under three categories: Pedagogical, organizational and affective, and finally three solutions are suggested, namely changing the teaching method, using Information communication technology (ICT) and working with teaching assistants (TAs).


Critical thinking skills; Large classes; Teaching methods

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/n


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