STUDY ON STUDENTS’ CRITICAL THINKING CAPACITIES DURING SEMINARS OF THE DIDACTICS OF GEOGRAPHY
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AbstractIn this study we tried to find answers to the following question: What is the effect of cognitive organisers (schemes, graphical organisers, quintets) on developing capacities characteristic of critical thinking? The hypothesis we wanted to test was the following: restructuring information through cognitive organisers did not suppose compulsory critical thinking, but restructuring while observing certain explicit tasks. We tested the hypothesis during a seminar of the Didactics of Geography in 2008. The sample was represented by 64 students in the second year at the Faculty of Geography. The task was to realise a poster about a country. That poster should have included a quintet, ten keywords, a graphical organiser, a sigle, a schematic map, and the essential ideas about the respective country. After analysing students’ results we noticed the following: restructuring information in quintets, realising the sigle and identifying ten keywords about a country required and proved use of critical thinking as a result of observing explicit or implicit tasks; when restructuring information into graphical organisers and into lists of ideas, students used certain capacities characteristic of critical thinking, but they did not assess all ideas according to the same criteria and, therefore, restructuring that information should be realised on the basis of observing certain explicit tasks.