Workshop on Critical Thinking by Bojan Markicevic (Tvornica Znanosti)
The 13rd of December of 2019 the SPOON project partners and several science teachers had a great opportunity to attend to a workshop about Critical Thinking, presented by our croatian SPOON project’s partner, Bojan Markicevic, from the Tvornica Znanosti organisation, hosted by SPOON dutch partner Boswell-Bèta at Utrecht University.
The participants worked in three activities suitable for secondary and high education, and that can be applied independently if needed.
First activity: the building team
For the first activity, we were divided in teams, with different roles: architect, building chief and building worker. The first’s task was to create a building model with the provided materials. During the construction, second’s task was to try to note down the construction process. Once finished (under pressure of time), the models where hidden, and the building worker had to build the model, using the same materials, based on the notes.
The most interesting point of this activity starts when the discussion starts between the participants, so the role of the teacher is for the utmost importance. Several facets of critical thinking skills can be discussed, based on the participants input: communication procedures, empathic skills, team-building spirit, information management etc.
Second activity: The critical thinking skills, and how to develop them
The second activity consisted in a deeper dialogue that started setting the definition for “critical thinking skills”, and defining which are those skills. As next step, the participants were encouraged to think about how to develop those skills among students.
The discussion was deeper that the first activity, so we could suggest to use it in teacher training programmes and with students interested in education.
Third activity: the horses and riders
The third activity consisted in an optical illusion activity. The most interesting aspect of the activity was that the participants were not allowed to manipulate the papers before thinking how to solve it, and they had to sketch the solution before trying it. Once one had solved it, they had to define how to help blocked students without giving a recipe. The second part was especially difficult and interesting at the same time. Therefore, we discussed about teachers’ quality of feedback.
In conclusion, the participants found the activities very suitable for critical thinking teaching.