In the 21st century, more and more students and parents begin to pay attention to the cultivation of critical thinking.
Nine BE students who are in their first year of Sixth Form study attended our bespoke Critical Thinking Workshop on 10th December in Covent Garden, London. Led by our team of experienced teachers and advisors, this event was specifically designed to introduce students to the important skill ofcritical thinking.
Highly sought after by university admissions teams, critical thinking is the one area reported to be lacking in university applicants today and this was verified by our keynote speaker, Dr Yvonne Zivkovic from The University of Cambridge. Her insightful talk emphasised how vital it is to practise critical thinking at this stage of their academic career in order to become 'stellar' undergraduate students later on.
Feedback on Student Engagement
Samuel worked well with others during the workshop and gave some insightful answers when encouraged to speak up. He could do with contributing more willingly to the discussion as he tended to be more of a listener which comes across as having a lack of confidence which isn’t the case with Samuel on a one-to-one basis. He was engaged throughout the workshop and worked hard on the activities where he practised applying critical thinking techniques to some anonymised newspaper articles.
Nico is a confident student and contributed very willingly with insightful comments throughout the workshop. She understood well the concept of critical thinking from the start and could apply the skill to her subjects readily. She worked well with others during group work but was distracted by her friend, Will, who had accompanied her from Hurtwood House. In future, it is best not to bring friends to these workshops as they are invitation only and can cause disruption to the learning environment.
Will contributed some interesting ideas when asked and should feel more confident in sharing them without having to be encouraged. He was slightly distracted by some of the other students and so may not have been 100% engaged throughout the workshop but he did well with the activities.
Wilburt arrived early and was keen to get started which was positive. Throughout the workshop he was engaged with the activities but as a naturally quieter individual, Wilburt tended to only give an answer when asked directly by a teacher rather than volunteering his ideas. When Wilburt did contribute, he was a good communicator with interesting ideas and seemed to be confident so in future he could try to join in the conversation more readily to get the most out of the sessions.
Rachel arrived early to the workshop and immediately began chatting with some other students which demonstrated her strong communication skills. However, during the teaching, Rachel was one of the more reserved personalities present so she wasn’t always keen to offer ideas to the discussion. When the teachers circulated amongst the groups, she had some wonderful thoughts and should be more confident to share them with the whole class. Rachel demonstrated a high level of engagement and was a pleasure to have as a member of the workshop.
Annie is a strong student who showed a keen grasp of the concept of critical thinking from the start. She offered very good answers to our questions and worked well in a pair as well as in a group. Some of the activities were difficult and she showed persistence in working on the answers diligently and she showed a very methodical approach. Engaged with the teaching throughout, it was a pleasure having Annie at the workshop.
Michelle stood out at the workshop as being a very strong and engaged student. Not only was she completely committed to the learning outcome from the start but she actively encouraged others to participate which showed maturity. Always willing to share her thoughts, Michelle understood very well the concept of critical thinking and showed skillin applying the questioning technique we covered.
Peter was one of the quieter students at the workshop but when the teachers circulated around the groups whilst they were completing activities, he showed promise in his ideas and worked well with others. Peter should feel more confident in himself and contribute more to discussion – especially within a safe space such as our workshops.
Lenny is quite a reserved character meaning that he doesn’t really speak unless spoken to. Hopefully he will work on this shyness as when he was encouraged to offer his thoughts, he had some good ideas which benefitted the whole group. Despite being quiet, Lenny did engage with the workshop material all day and worked hard on the more challenging activities. He also demonstrated that he worked well in groups.
Training Critical Thinking
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