Teaching Children to Think for Themselves: From Questioning to Dialogue

Felicity Haynes


The methods of teaching critical thinking currently favoured are critical analysis and metacognition. The former denies the place of interactive contextual judgment in reasoning, the latter devalues human purposes and quality. A metacognitive lesson on classification is shown to be too didactic to allow children to think in any but a passive sense. Splitter’s categorization of questions shows how moving away from closed substantive questions to open ones through dialogue can encourage children to think for themselves. Some consequences for pedagogy and evaluating children’s thinking are briefly examined.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21913/JPS.v1i1.997


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