PR-SACREDHEART-CRITICAL-THINKING

22 Jan 2015 12:08pm
SAPA PR--CRITICAL THINKERS ARE THE FUTURE ISSUED BY: SACRED HEART COLLEGE ATTENTION: NEWS EDITORS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CRITICAL THINKERS ARE THE FUTURE Sacred Heart College is the first school in South Africa to develop critical thinking as part of its curriculum. “Sacred Heart College taught me how to think for myself, because of the critical thinking skills courses and the teaching methods,” says Darren Blanckensee, a 2014 matriculant who received 4 A’s at Sacred Heart College. “We learnt how things work, and were not simply taught to pass”. The College is working closely with the MindBurst Workshop. MindBurst is a company that developed critical thinking skills materials and activities for Sacred Heart College, and has used them in state schools in collaboration with the Piermont CSI. They realized that many teachers and schools need a simple entry point into the practice of critical thinking, one that does not cost much time or money. In consultation with Sacred Heart College, MindBurst Workshop created a product called Rapid Gains Critical Thinking (RGCT). We asked ourselves, “What small, short-term interventions could have the biggest, long-term consequences?” said Andre Croucamp, founder of MindBurst. “What emerged from our research was a list of ten rapid gains. Each of these was divided into five cards, making a pack of 50 cards.” The product is locally developed, economical, and can be used in any school, from a rural farm school to a highly technical, independent school. The main purpose of the RGCT cards is to help teachers reflect on their teaching practice, and help school management reflect on their school’s culture. Without paying large fees, attending lengthy training courses or taking up precious curriculum time, teachers and schools can begin a journey of critical thinking skills, or enhance the one they are already on. The cards were designed to help teachers reflect on their own thinking habits. The staff members of Sacred Heart College were the first to work with the RGCT cards during their 5 day Professional Development Programme from 7 to 12 January 2015. All over the world, educators are recognizing the need to integrate critical thinking skills into curricula, teaching practice and school culture. Sacred Heart College and MindBurst are proud to be developing a South African response to this challenge. Contact details: Sacred Heart College 011 081 2200 Ends /LN