CRITICAL THINKING OVERVIEW
If you enjoy arguing, and sometimes you know that the other person is wrong but you can’t explain why, Critical Thinking will help you. If you want to become better at developing and putting forward an argument, or seeing how a journalist is trying to influence your views, you should study Critical Thinking.
As part of our enrichment plan for Sixth Form students at Queen Anne’s, in the Lower Sixth you will have the opportunity to study for AS Level Critical Thinking. This is a skills based course, and as such it will be additional to the other four AS levels which you choose. The final written examination will be more like a driving test for your mind than a set of knowledge-based papers. As OCR points out: ‘Research has shown that the skills acquired by students of Critical Thinking are transferable into achievement in other school subjects. A good grasp of analysis, an understanding of what constitutes a sound argument, knowing how to spot flaws and weaknesses in reasoning, and the ability to compose coherent and focused arguments are all at the heart of academic endeavour.’
AS: Two Units
- Introduction to Critical Thinking: You will learn the basic essentials of the language of reasoning, the structure of arguments, the evaluation of evidence and the assessment of credibility.
- Assessing and Developing Argument: You will build on the skills that you have acquired by studying for the first unit. You will learn to write your own arguments, to challenge reasoning with counter-arguments, and to evaluate potential weaknesses and flaws in stimulus material.
- The Critical Thinking course will be completed on the same schedule as your other AS subjects, but it will be taught in three lessons per week.
We would expect any girl with a collection of good GCSE passes to be interested in the subject and capable of enjoying and benefiting from the formal development of these skills.
Other Subject Combinations
Critical Thinking is a course that may be followed alongside any combination of other subjects. Techniques that you learn in Critical Thinking will be useful in any subject where you have to make verbal judgements and defend your own ideas or criticize arguments put forward by others.