UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Considering critical thinking and History 12 : one teacher's story Gibson, Lindsay Smith


This thesis uses analytic philosophical inquiry and autobiographical narrative inquiry to identify a conception of critical thinking (CT) that is “most adaptable” for teaching History 12, and then discusses the strengths and limitations. The CT literature includes several conflicting conceptions of CT, and I use two specific types of analytic philosophical inquiry, (conceptual analysis and conceptual structure assessment), to identify which conception is “most adaptable” for teaching History 12. After considering the degree to which each conception meets the criteria developed for the “most adaptable” conception of CT, I conclude that the Critical Thinking Consortium’s (TC²) conception is the most adaptable. Of all the conceptions developed thus far, the TC² approach is unique because it is designed solely as a pedagogical model for embedding CT throughout the curriculum of each subject and grade level. In the second section of the thesis, I use autobiographical narrative inquiry to reflect on the strengths and limitations of the TC² model after using the model to teach History 12 for a year. One of the foundational principles of the TC² conception is the notion that embedding CT throughout the curriculum is a powerful way of improving understanding. I determine that this contention is accurate because students improved their knowledge of the curriculum, the epistemology of history, and the adoption of CT in their everyday lives. Furthermore, use of the TC² conception helped improve my planning and assessment practices, and initiated a positive change of my role in the classroom.

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