Teaching Critical Thinking and Critical Consciousness through Literature in Third Level Education
Keywords:Critical consciousness, critical thinking, critical reviews, literature circles, tutorials.
This research focuses on teaching for thinking and educating for critical consciousness in third level students through the medium of modern literature. The objective of this research is education as the practice of freedom; a means by which students deal critically with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world, thus becoming what bell hooks refers to as enlightened witnesses (hooks 2000). This research takes a critical constructive action research approach which allowed me to refine my methods and gain further knowledge about my practice whilst enabling students to become more effective critical thinkers and more critically conscious citizens. Action research acknowledges the social character of knowledge and a key conclusion is that modern literature can provide a gateway to a shared understanding, through which students can learn to think critically and become more critically aware. Greene (1988) views literature as a culture’s secular scripture, an inexhaustible source of multiple perspectives on the human condition and ways to live more fully in the world, and this research confirms the study of imaginative literature as one way in which we can assist in our students’ existential quest to understand and construct a meaningful life.
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