Educators Benefit from Critical Thinking Workshop

Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS) — Inter-American Teacher Educator Network (ITEN) of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the University of the West Indies (UWI) recently teamed up with the Ministry of Education to hold a workshop that sought to build the professional development of teachers in critical areas necessary for improving their practice.

During the two-day workshop teachers engaged in discussions about strategies and activities aimed at developing their knowledge, understanding and skill in critical thinking and active learning.

It was said by Chief Education Officer Clarice Cotton that the teachers benefited from the workshop because they have critical thinking skills as part of their curriculum, at the secondary and primary level.

In addition to skill development, the participants shared and discussed examples of good or promising practice in critical thinking and bring together relevant and varying sectors to focus on critical thinking strategies to sustain the schooling experience. The education professionals also discussed activities and strategies in critical thinking and demonstrated their implications for learning and demonstrated ways in which critical thinking skills can be used a tool for gender socialization.

Ms. Cotton noted that the use of critical thinking skills for gender socialization was one of the topics that the teacher’s paid close attention to as the Ministry has been focusing for some time on single sex education.

One of the facilitators of the workshop from UWI, Dr.Verna Knight, stated that as educators there has been “a growing and insistent demand” for them to collaboratively rethink, seek and develop ways to strengthen the expansion of thinking in students, in particular creative and critical thinking.

Similar sessions were conducted in Grenada and Antigua and Barbuda and will be held in St. Vincent as their goal “has been and continues to be to support the development of a culture of thinking in schools and by extension classrooms across the region,” said Dr. Knight.

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