Topic 2: Critical thinking strategies

Today there is a myriad of different approaches, strategies and methodologies how critical thinking could be developed. Almost all of those methods are interactive teaching methods, as it is not possible to teach one to think critically with non-interactive teaching methods.

  • Socratic method, which is named after the Greek philosopher Socrates (469 BC–399 BC), is “teaching by asking instead of telling”. It is a means of evaluating beliefs by examining contradictions among their implications or in other words: learn to make room in our minds for different ideas and perspectives no matter how much they challenge our current beliefs. The ultimate aim of Socrates’ philosophical method is always ethical. It should make us aware of our misconceptions, delusions and self-deceptions and bring us to a better understanding of the good and thus help us attain the goal that all human beings desire – happiness (eudaimonia).
    At the beginning of 20th century, the German philosopher Leonard Nelson developed the Socratic Dialogue method to philosophize dialogically in groups, which aimed to achieve a genuine consensus about the answer to the general question. The starting point of the analysis is an example from a real life, but also starting point can be children stories. Contemporary tendencies and programs which aim to teach children how to think and develop their critical thinking include an updated version of the Socratic dialogue, that is, a dialogue which features the Socratic question and answer method. The method’s tagline could be “question everything” but based on sound arguments. The method can be adapted according to age, and the most important question of the method is “Why?”.
  • Community of inquiry is a concept introduced by Charles Sanders Peirce and originally restricted to the practitioners of scientific inquiry. “The method of inquiry contains practical presuppositions, which engender a certain community of inquiry. We can discern the character of this community on the basis of those presuppositions. In general, the community of inquiry would, first, encourage self-criticism, that is, encouraging reflection on the beliefs presently held, but only if such reflection is warranted by genuine doubt (as opposed to the artificial doubt of Descartes). Second, the community of inquiry would allow and encourage openness toward criticism (as opposed to tenacious and authoritative communities). Participants in inquiry would be allowed the opportunity to criticize, to refute, as well as present alternative views” (Liszka, 1996).

Source: SHOUT, 2022. Retrieved from: