6 Sep 2012

Needs Analysis Survey on Critical Thinking

This post reports my replies to a Needs analysis survey that was carried out before starting the ELT Upgrade Workshop: Critical and Creative Thinking. The survey was conducted to find out teacher educators’ background knowledge, experiences and perceptions about Critical thinking.

  1. What are the 5 key words that describe your understanding of critical thinking (CT)? Reflect, inspire, innovate, empower, & transform
  2. What is the state of inclusion of critical thinking in English language teaching in your country? According to the Peruvian National Curriculum, English teachers should develop in the students specific communicative competences that imply to enhance a great amount of CT activities that are suggested in that official document:
    Further information at page 359 of:
  3. Is CT a necessity or a luxury in ELT in your country? It is a must, but a “luxury” for those teachers that have not developed their own CT yet. I think that if teachers are not trained by critical thinker trainers, it would be complicated to develop CT in their students.
  4. How is it used?  (what types of approaches, strategies, activities are used to enhance critical thinking, for example) English teachers must do communicative activities that are most related to developing CT, such as: Infer information from media related to their personal interests; Analize oral texts from media taking into account the pitch, tone, intonation; Utilize verbal and non-verbal language and specific expressions to start and keep a conversation.
  5. Is this general state similar or different from that of the program in which you provide Teacher Training/teacher development? What is referred in the Curriculum differs a lot from what teachers do in the classrooms. I mean the majority of them in public schools. I insist teachers must be trained in developing critical, creative, and problem solving thinking during the course of the initial teacher programs. Stop lecturing. 
  6. What critical thinking is already in place in your program, ie, how do you/your colleagues/your teacher trainees use CT? I think that Initial teachers programs should achieve specific objectives, at least. I stated these specific objectives:
    At the end of the course of Didactics of TEFL the trainees should be able to:
    • Distinguish the different approaches and methods in TEFL.
    • Apply the theoretical foundations in real teaching situations.
    • Elaborate lesson plans.
    • Manage teaching skills and techniques.
    • Select and utilize a variety of techniques of evaluation and testing.
    • Demonstrate effective practice in the use of ICT
  7. Are there gaps in CT in your program (in CT in ELT classrooms that your colleagues are likely to experience)? The main gap is: Most teacher students had not being trained in developing their CT in previous course before pursing Didactics of TEFL

    Looking forward to reading your answers, comments, etc.

    Taken from: Deanna G. Hochstein. 2012. ELT Upgrade Workshop: Critical and Creative Thinking. RELO Andes - US Embassy. Lima, Peru

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