- By Leo Igwe
Teaching critical reasoning is set to transform the learning culture in schools. At the moment, a lot is missing in the school system. And these gaps are negatively impacting learning and education.
The school system puts too much emphasis on rote learning. School pupils are expected to memorize whatever they are taught and then reproduce them during examinations as a demonstration of knowledge. Many students are compelled to cram to pass their examinations.
The prevailing model of education does not encourage the active participation of students in the learning process. The school system has turned children into passive recipients and recyclers of information and ideas. In other words, learning mainly is teacher-, not student-centered.
Pupils have to commit every piece of information to memory. Many students are unable to question and interrogate whatever they are taught or told. But with the introduction of critical reasoning in schools, this form of education is about to change. It would no longer be a rote-learning business as usual.
A different mode of education and pedagogy informs the subject of critical reasoning. The human mind is not only a storehouse of facts and information. It is a device to process and evaluate knowledge and experiences. The norm in schools makes posing questions the prerogative of teachers.
Teachers ask questions mainly to assess students. And students ask questions often at the discretion of teachers. This culture of learning does not provide ample opportunity for students to sufficiently exercise their minds.
The introduction of critical reasoning as a subject would address this need in the school system. Lessons have been designed to make students more curious and to provoke them to probe and inquire.
Learning materials have been formulated to help children to question storm, not brainstorm, in schools.
So a different way of schooling and learning is presenting itself. Will schools and school managers seize this opportunity and improve the culture of education and learning?