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ERIC Number: ED314770
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Nov-29
Pages: 10
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
A Vygotskian Perspective on Critical Thinking.
Smolucha, Larry; Smolucha, Francine
From a Vygotskian perspective critical thinking skills are taught through speech interactions between teacher and student. Two assumptions central to Vygotskian theory are the role of inner speech in self-regulation and how teaching creates the zone of proximal development. Inner speech allows humans to consciously direct their thought processes. Critical thinking is a psychological system that involves the collaboration of several higher mental functions including memory, conceptual thought, analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and even imagination. Written texts and peer tutors can be used to teach additional critical thinking skills, but alone they are not sufficient--the teacher-student interaction is the key. The different instructional modes (lecture, the recitation script, Socratic questioning, informal lecture/discussion, open discussion, and independent study) represent different levels of teacher control of learning and are different ways of providing scaffolding in the zone of proximal development. Four stages of learning in the zone of proximal development are conversations with the teacher, private speech, inner speech, and then deautomatization when conversation is again sought out. Vygotsky believed that critical thinking skills are culturally relative and are learned, and used, within a social-historical context. This perspective is a useful way of organizing the disparate lines of research on critical thinking. It also offers interesting strategies for teaching critical thinking which can be evaluated empirically. (One table outlining levels of control in teacher directions is included.) (MG)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A