10 reasons why you want to read this chapter
I always tell my students to let their essays and reports rest for a few days, take some distance, so they can have a critical look at their own writing as a reader – does it still makes sense?
This chapter, recently published in Routledge’s Reshaping International Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, I started writing with Jacco van Uden when I was still pregnant with my youngest daughter and she turned 3 last week. Of course, Jacco and I have been writing and polishing it over the years and the editor has wielded his knife to cut out parts. But I had not read it for over a year. This chapter in other words was certainly well rested…
Until it dropped on our doormat in the shape of a book. So we read our chapter again, and as readers we would like to encourage you to do the same.
- Starts with a quote from John Dewey that every mind ‘naturally and inherently’ wants to be active within its capacity, as young as it is (1934).
- Explains why film and documentaries are good authentic material to use in the (international) classroom to activate these young minds and shock them into thinking.
- Shows why critical thinking education is complex, but also reveals how critical reflection from lecturers and students can help improve it.
- It has chocolate in it. It focuses on Tony Chocolonely’s documentary The Chocolate Case – how slavery is part of the chocolate production supply chain – which it is still a hot issue.
- Dives into the different levels of students’ critical thinking: engaging with the topics and arguments versus critically reflecting on the documentary – which are clearly two different things.
- Explores the setting where and how students watch documentaries and clips, hearing it from the students’ perspective, and what they think of going to the cinema. Spoiler alert: students love film, but not necessarily so when cinema becomes class.
- Reflects on why thesis statements given by the lecturer can be too difficult – when lecturers first of all blame students for lack of critical thinking skills but actually aim for too high of a goal themselves.
- Illustrates how students are actively learning with film clips and dialogue.
- Concludes that lecturers should always apply critical thinking to their own courses.
- Still makes sense.