An evaluation of how critical thinking skills are embedded into the teaching and assessment of a BA Early Childhood Studies programme

Barnaby, Beverley and Burghardt, Victoria (2015) An evaluation of how critical thinking skills are embedded into the teaching and assessment of a BA Early Childhood Studies programme. In: EECERA, Sept 6th - 10th, Barcelona. (Accepted/In press)

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Abstract

This research aims to examine the integration of students’ critical and creative thinking skills within a BA Early Childhood Studies course. Research suggests that students and professional trainees benefit from teaching which is focused on critical thinking skills, whether delivered in an explicit or embedded way (Behar-Horenstein and Niu, 2011). Literature suggests that transformative practice occurs through experiential learning, reflection and collaboration. (Schon, 1987, Moon, 1999). The ability to think critically and creatively is important for Early Years’ professionals, in order to provide effective indoor and outdoor learning environments. Therefore, it is important to analyse how a BA course embeds opportunities for teaching and assessing thinking skills, and to model them to their students. The research uses mixed methods within a case-study approach. Semi-structured interviews conducted with BA Early Childhood Studies tutors to explore: 1) how tutors incorporate pedagogies related to these thinking abilities into their modules, 2) where tutors envisage opportunities for nurturing the skills in the revalidated course. A content analysis is conducted on existing and proposed module outlines to determine where critical and creative thinking is evident. Data suggest that critical and creative skills are integrated in the programme. It is envisaged that reflection on the provision will lead to further opportunities for encouraging students to enhance their thinking skills in their professional practice. Continuation of the research aims to further identify how students’ creative and critical thinking skills are promoted in real teaching practices.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Education
Item ID: 16394
Depositing User: Vicky Burghardt
Date Deposited: 28 May 2015 11:02
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:34
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/16394

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