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Students’ Critical Thinking Skills Development Essay

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Updated: Aug 19th, 2020

Overview

Elements for comparison and contrast Payne & Gainey text Tsui text
Description Evidence from the text Description Evidence from the text
Explicit meaning Payne and Gainey focus on stating the fact that the discussion of controversial issues in the class is an effective method to stimulate students’ critical thinking. The authors’ purpose is to provide the list of appropriate controversial issues to promote the discussion along with explaining the strategies to make the discussion more effective to enhance students’ critical thinking. “We will discuss some common issues that surface in college courses that encourage critical thinking. What strategies can educators use to promote enlightened and fair discussion of them? Which controversial issues surface is largely determined by what the class is studying” (Payne & Gainey, 2003, p. 52). The purpose of Tsui’s research is to examine how different elements of the classroom activities can stimulate students’ critical thinking and provide the qualitative research findings with references to the students’ and instructors’ vision of the question. “Because most college courses entail writing and discussion in varying degrees, it is especially worthwhile to study how such prevalent course elements can be effectively utilized to enhance students’ critical thinking skills” (Tsui, 2002, p. 754).
Implicit meaning The authors pay attention to the fact that instructors today experience a lot of difficulties while facing the challenge of developing students’ critical thinking skills. That is why they often choose to avoid the field of critical thinking. Thus, effective strategies are necessary to help instructors enhance students’ critical thinking and become leaders of the teaching process. “Awareness of the issues and strategies will help professors to become the leader of the wolf pack, rather than the meal of the wolf pack” (Payne & Gainey, 2003, p. 57). The author focuses on the necessity to change the current approach to developing the students’ critical thinking, referring to the instructors’ preparedness for the process. “Widespread efforts to heighten students’ critical thinking through instructional change are more likely to come about if they involve altering commonplace teaching techniques rather than radically replacing them” (Tsui, 2002, p. 754).
Situatedness with respect to the texts It is important to receive the opportunity to participate in the well-developed and well-monitored classroom discussions of the controversial issues in order to develop critical thinking abilities. From this point, efficient strategies should be used by instructors because they improve students’ abilities and the whole teaching-learning process. The development of critical thinking skills should be realized at all the stages of the teaching-learning process, and writing activities along with the classroom discussions are the important elements to enhance the skills under the existing conditions.

Conclusion

The necessity to reform the current approach to developing the students’ critical thinking skills in the classroom is reflected explicitly or implicitly in Payne and Gainey and Tsui’s articles. If Tsui only states the perspectives according to which it is possible to reform the existing approach to enhance the students’ critical thinking abilities with references to the conducted research, Payne and Gainey provide the concrete strategies and ways to improve the critical thinking development with the help of the proposed list of controversial topics (Payne & Gainey, 2003; Tsui, 2002). From this point, the authors use different approaches to proposing the solutions to the problematic question, while focusing on the theoretical implications or on the concrete actions.

However, Payne and Gainey’s ideas are similar to Tsui’s claims that it is important to change the instructors’ approach to the issue in order to influence the development of the students’ critical thinking skills. The authors present the same idea in different forms, thus, today instructors can hesitate and even fail while developing the instructions or activities based on the critical thinking concepts because of the impossibility to monitor the discussion or writing appropriately. From this point, the authors propose approaches to overcome the situation, but they use different techniques.

References

Payne, B., & Gainey, R. (2003). Understanding and developing controversial issues in college courses. College Teaching, 51(2), 52-59.

Tsui, L. (2002). Fostering critical thinking through effective pedagogy: Evidence from four institutional case studies. The Journal of Higher Education, 73(6), 740-763.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Students’ Critical Thinking Skills Development." August 19, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/students-critical-thinking-skills-development/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Students’ Critical Thinking Skills Development'. 19 August.

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