Critical Thinking is a discipline which is unusual in that students do not study a body of knowledge, but rather develop a set of transferable skills which are applicable to their other subjects and to their everyday life. It teaches students to examine arguments, spot flaws in reasoning, and assess the credibility and plausibility of claims. It is vital that young people can evaluate the wealth of information available to them in the world today, and Critical Thinking encourages them to discern the logical from the ludicrous and the certain from the certifiable.
Classes are taught in mixed ability sets for one double period a week. The Critical Thinking Department are from a variety of academic backgrounds, but each teacher is experienced in developing students' analytical and evaluative skills for use in the classroom and beyond. We study the OCR AS specification.
Miss M Guessens BA (Cantab) Mrs E Peers BA (Hons) Liverpool PGCE (Liverpool)
Mr J Franks MA (Cantab) GTP (e-Qualitas)
Mr T Bennett MA (Cantab) PGCE (Oxford Brookes)
Miss R Harris BA (Dunelm) PGCE (Bristol)
Miss V Marks BA (Swansea) GTP (Reading)
Miss M Guessens BA (Cantab)
Mrs E Peers BA (Hons) Liverpool PGCE (Liverpool)
Critical Thinking is an option, alongside the EPQ, for all LVI girls. The course is divided into two parts. The first, An Introduction to Critical Thinking, introduces students to basic argument elements (including reasons, conclusions, evidence and examples) and develops their assessment of the credibility and plausibility of claims. The second, Assessing and Developing Arguments, covers more complex elements such as analogies and principles, introduces flaws of reasoning, and culminates in students producing their own structured arguments. These skills are easily applied to current affairs: last year students studied the Occupy London movement, and this year the US Presidential debates will provide much food for thought.