Re-thinking thinking for the new curricula

Year: 2001

Author: Haynes, Felicity

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Recent curriculum reforms, were driven, via Mayer competencies, by industry's demand for school leavers who demonstrated creative initiative in the workplace. However, monitoring student progress in critical thinking, according to McPeck, depends upon domain-specific outcome statements, in which thinking skills are evaluated according to the specific critical features of the discipline. Without these disciplinary structures, he claims, no evaluation of thinking is possible, particularly in newly integrated areas such as Science and the Arts. There has been little research on how outcome statements within learning areas link desired thinking skills to generic outcome statements such as requiring students to think critically and creatively in general, or how they link to embodied disciplinary practices, on an apprenticeship model. This paper presents a rethinking of thinking skills which links physical and social practices, intellectual and rational principles and creative problem-seeking and problem-solving in a tripartite model which demonstrates how thinking skills can be fostered and encouraged in schools. It is a general model which in this paper will make specific reference to the fostering of creativity in integrated arts programmes.