Critical Thinking as a Dimension of Constructivist Learning in Social Studies Education: A Study of Teachers’ Attitudes in Secondary Education

Ali Emad Muhammad

Abstract


This study examined social studies teachers’ attitudes towards critical thinking as a dimension of constructive learning. The purpose of this study was indeed to develop a better understanding of the use of instructional approaches by experienced teachers to enhance critical thinking skills and improve student learning of social studies. The study was conducted in the city of Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan with 20 experienced social studies teachers in 8 public secondary schools. Qualitative approach was preferred for this study. The interview with each of the 20 teachers was conducted individually and their social studies classes are observed separately. The results of this study revealed that teachers have little knowledge and understanding of instructional strategies that foster critical thinking. The teachers believed that students can benefit from using self-learning, self-assessment, involving in peer learning, meaningful and reasonable response process and express curiosity through questioning how and why. This study also explored some obstacles when teachers practice instructional strategies that enhance critical thinking in learning social studies.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jse.v10i2.16763

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