n Commonwealth Youth and Development - Empowering the youth through the development of critical thinking skills in the English First Additional Language classroom : ideal versus reality




Current trends in the field of teaching and learning view one of the roles of education as being able equip the youth with critical thinking skills to enable them to cope with the demands of the 21st century. However, while policies have been drawn up to reform education in line with this vision, there is a dearth of tangible evidence to show how far this ideal is being realised at classroom level. This paper seeks to determine the extent to which a group of English First Additional language teachers in South Africa sought to develop their learners' critical thinking skills. It draws on a larger project that investigated the impact of educational reform in this country. The unit of analysis is a group of student teachers registered for an English methodology course offered by the University of South Africa's (Unisa's) Department of English Studies. The paper seeks to answer the following question: to what extent are teachers developing learners' critical thinking skills in line with the government's vision? It is in three sections. The first is a literature review of the theoretical constructs that ground the study. This is followed by the presentation of data and discussion of findings. Finally, insights pertaining to the study are discussed.


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