To teach critical thinking


Fromm (1979) worried that people had lost the ability to think for themselves and had become used to collective ‘herd’ thinking. He argued that people must exercise their freedom in thinking for themselves – with the main kind of freedom being a ‘freedom of being’ which involved the courage ‘to let go [of deeply entrenched habits of non-thinking] and respond’ (p.24).

What relevance might this have for self-study action research in particular or for critical and reflective practice in general? What relevance does it have for CPD for teachers? Can ‘top-down’ or commercial packages of CPD be effective? I argue that teachers must ‘buy into’ CPD for themselves, choose their own areas for improvement and begin the process of actively seeking to live their examined and articulated educational values in practice. This takes BEING a critical thinker and thinking for oneself.

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