What about Geography? The Geography Curriculum, Young People, Critical Thinking and Active Learning, pp. 2 of 5

Whilst these definitions might help to clarify what the term means, it helps to have some examples of critical thinking in geography education to explore what critical thinking can look like in the classroom. During the workshop, I offered the participants two examples of lessons I had observed in England, and we discussed if the students in these lessons had been engaged in critical thinking and what they were thinking critically about. I offer below the examples we used and a summary of our discussion.

Table 2. Lesson Example

Lesson 1: Migration

This was a year 9 (13-14 years old) lesson taught in the north-west of England. The lesson began with a photograph of a man sown into a car seat (see below). The students were asked to talk to their neighbour about what the man was doing and why they think he was doing it. 

Picture of a man disguising himself as a car seat

The teacher then explained this was a photo taken by US Border Patrol, and the man was attempting to smuggle himself into the US from Mexico.  The teacher then talked the students through a short presentation which outlined some statistics of migration from Mexico into the US, illustrating the extent of the migratory pattern.

The students were introduced to the ideas of push-pull factors, and economic migration.

The students were then shown a short movie clip of reasons why the USA is a popular destination for Mexican migrants. The class were then asked to work in pairs prepare a poster which showed the push-pull factors for Mexican-US migration.

The best posters were shared with the class.

An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

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