NPO encourages critical thinking in schools


    ThinkingSchools textThinking Schools SA is revolutioninsing the way children are taught in school. The NPO calls for an approach that encourages learners to think more creatively and critically. (Images and Videos: Thinking Schools SA)

    Schools in South Africa assess learners through a standardised testing method. But many educational professionals are calling for an overhaul of the current system. They believe the focus should rather be on a more creative approach that encourages critical thinking.

    One of these organisations isThinking Schools South Africa (TSSA), a non-profit organisation that helps schools to transform the way they teach and learn through encouraging learners to think critically. It is backed by one of South Africa’s most well-known education commentators, Professor Jonathan Jansen.

    TSSA was established in 2011 after attendees at the International Association for Cognitive Education in Southern Africa conference, held in Cape Town, agreed to start an NPO that focused on the concept of thinking schools.

    Jonathan Jansen textRector and vice-chancellor of the University of the Free State, Professor Jonathan Jansen, supports TSSA’s approach to learning.

    It works with management and teachers to develop whole school thinking approaches and languages. It believes that critical thinking is not something teachers are explicitly trained to do and that the curriculum does not demand it. Instead, schools assess learners on how well they recall content. This results in graduates who are not able to think critically.

    TSSA implements thinking skills in schools by integrating critical thinking into the curriculum and making it a core part of how teaching and learning takes place.

    Watch these videos to learn more about TSSA:

    Learners gave their feedback on TSSA’s creative thinking approach.

    Director of the Discover Centre for Health Journalism at Rhodes University, Professor Harry Dugmore, tells TSSA what tertiary institutions look for in students.

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