ERIC Number: EJ960523
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Feb
Abstractor: As Provided
Critical Thinking as Culture: Teaching Post-Soviet Teachers in Kazakhstan
Burkhalter, Nancy; Shegebayev, Maganat R.
International Review of Education, v58 n1 p55-72 Feb 2012
This paper explores the question of whether critical thinking can eventually become part of the cultural fabric in Kazakhstan, a country whose Soviet educational system not only trained teachers to memorise, lecture and intimidate students but also created a culture in educational institutions fraught with many fear-based behaviours engendering competitiveness, intolerance and other hostile behaviours antithetical to critical thinking and an open, democratic society. While educational reform can have profound effects on a nation, education is but one system in a complex network of governmental and cultural systems, and change must be borne by many. This paper reviews literature and presents qualitative data gathered through interviews with Soviet-trained teachers. The authors recommend that teachers should embrace student-centred techniques and critical thinking methodologies, as well as shift from a fear-based, authoritarian, top-down system of relating to students and colleagues to one of cooperation, openness and fairness. Such a reform will take repetitive, intensive and experiential training as well as regular assessments of progress.
Descriptors: Democracy, Social Change, Social Systems, Educational Change, Foreign Countries, Critical Thinking, Fear, Thinking Skills, Skill Development, Teaching Methods, Rote Learning, Interviews, Teacher Attitudes, Student Centered Curriculum, Authoritarianism, Teacher Education, Teaching Experience
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Kazakhstan