ERIC Number: EJ794703
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
The Relationship between Culture and the Development of Critical Thinking Abilities of Prospective Teachers
Grosser, M. M.; Lombard, B. J. J.
Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Journal of Research and Studies, v24 n5 p1364-1375 Jul 2008
The emphasis placed on the individualistic and universal nature of cognitive development in some cognitive development models has resulted in the neglect of the cultural context in the development of cognitive abilities. Consequences of this approach for cognitive development are the strong emphasis which is placed on age-dependent patterns of growth and uniformity. Furthermore, the occurrence of changes in the relationship between an individual and the surrounding environment as crucial for the development of cognitive abilities are neglected. In this paper, a cultural approach to the development of critical thinking abilities is proposed in contrast to the traditional, individualistic approach. The linked purposes of this paper are: (1) to elucidate the critical thinking abilities of a mixed cultural group of 114 prospective first-year student teachers studying for a BEd degree at a South African university by means of the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal; and (2) to provide insight into the relationship between the critical thinking abilities of the group of prospective teachers and their various cultures. The study found that (1) a considerable number of the sample of prospective teachers are not yet functioning on Grade 12 level with regard to the execution of critical thinking skills. The sample's apparent inability to execute critical thinking skills is clear from this research and (2) it seems as if the various cultural worlds of these prospective teachers have not prepared them for the execution of critical thinking abilities.
Descriptors: Student Teachers, Critical Thinking, Cultural Context, Thinking Skills, Cognitive Development, Cognitive Ability, Foreign Countries, Teacher Education, Measures (Individuals), Cultural Background
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa