The Role of Engagement in the Development of Critical Thinking in Undergraduates
This study explores the link between academic research, extracurricular engagement and the development of critical thinking of undergraduate students using a single statistical model. Empirical basis of the research was provided by the results of the Student Experience in the Research University (SERU) survey conducted in one of Russian national research universities in 2017 (N=3,344). Binary logistic regression reveals a statistically significant relationship between the development of critical thinking and student engagement in learning, research and extracurricular activities, higher involvement corresponding to better critical thinking skills. The findings may be useful for developing curricula, allocating student workload, and devising new initiatives for university students.
The article examines Husserl project of the renovation of European cultural mankind in context of the genesis of Husserl’s practical philosophy, existential motivations for the emergence of the idea of renovation (Erneuerung) and in perspective of its adaptations to the contemporary. The key point of the article – Husserl’s thesis about internationalization through the phenomenological "spirit of autonomy". Аnalyzing of the problem of harmonization between universal theoretical and concrete practical dimension of the idea of renovation, author explicate the socio-critical and cultural creative potential of Husserl's phenomenology.
The need to foster critical thinking has long been one of the key issues in education. It is essentially vital nowadays against the background of an increased volume of cross-cultural communications due to the present-day demand for collaboration to tackle pressing global issues through joint efforts of different nations. While the format of debates has been recognized by researchers as one of the most efficient tools of setting off critical thinking, it is up to the new technologies in education to make it possible to bring this platform to a cross-cultural level. Since a cross-cultural dialogue in most cases supposes the mastery of a foreign language, e-learning in the form of cross-border video-conference debates present an invaluable opportunity for educators to enhance the pedagogy of foreign language acquisition around the globe. The present paper focuses on a case-study of an on-going project of implementing the tool of synchronous cross-cultural video-conference debates.
This article discusses ways to stimulate students' motivation to participate in extracurricular activities. The author points out the following forms of extra-curricular activities: administrative, informative and entertaining. The author proposes the scale of assessment of students for participation in extracurricular activities. These forms should be taken into account in the rating system of the student's academic achievement
Writing-to-learn benefits have been explored in various educational settings. However, little research has been done on how a WTL approach in combination with two different languages of instruction can influence historical reasoning learning. The main objective of the present study is to examine the effects of a particular WTL instruction in two languages (L1 is Russian and L2 is English) on historical reasoning learning outcomes. The paper presents the results of a case study of first year students of the History Faculty. Learners received small-group L1/L2 instruction by a team of two teachers in a Logic module which included evidence based direct instruction and a set of WTL activities. The instruction explicitly targeted argumentation skills such as argument structure, validity of an argument, fact vs opinion and using documented historical sources. The Critical Thinking Analytic Rubric was used for both pre and post-course metacognitive competencies assessments while argumentation skills were assessed with the help of a new developed rubric. The results showed various patterns of positive change in all the categories and seem to support the hypothesis that this approach to writing-to-learn in L1 and L2 leads to successful acquisition of disciplinary knowledge and skills.
In the era of abundance of ICT in education, the focus of academics is gradually shifting from initial urge for testing all possible emerging devices in order to improve learning process to a concern over potential overload with digital media and thus the need for its sifting. Foreign language learning is no exception. The fundamental skills of reading, listening, speaking, and writing have all been ICT enhanced in the past decade in both successful and failed attempts to boost language proficiency of learners. At the same time, the only indisputable need for technology in foreign language acquisition in academic environment has always been traced in the sphere of developing listening skills. For many researchers, listening as a basic skill is closely connected to the ability of comprehension [3, 5, 9]. However, true for lower level language learning this argument is fading at a more advanced level of language mastery dominated by reinforcement of critical thinking. A qualitative leap from basic comprehension to critical analysis has to be addressed in the process of developing language competencies. Listening, in particular, requires the design of special learning material, which, on the one hand, meets the criterion of authenticity [2, 7] and, on the other hand, leaves room for scaffolding since formal learning implies the use of specifically-built system of learning tools and not just exposure to random language experiences. [3, 4] In this regard, digital audiobooks present a unique opportunity to tackle the development of critical listening at advanced stages. Audiobooks have recently found a wide application in education from its elementary stage to adult learning [1,16]. Primarily, audiobooks are used as a supplement to reading. The present study, however, is focused on the use of audiobooks for critical listening skills for ESL students without considering the reading component of the traditional approach to audiobooks. In such context, the present article deals with issues of developing a methodology of implementing the use of digital audiobooks in advanced ESL classroom, presents specific examples of scaffolding exercises and analysis of the data collected from field-testing this approach on the stage of higher education through the case study of the Russian students learning English at National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow.
Higher education is valued as one of the main sources of civic participation and social benefit. In spite of the significant growth in the number of students over the last 20 years, Russia is still considered to be a country with a low level of civic engagement. Our study aims to respond to this contradictory standing and to explain the causes of student civic engagement. The survey conducted in 10 state universities has shown a difference in civic engagement index values among students from 4 educational programmes. The results of linear regression models have shown that, in addition to the ‘pure teaching effect’, such factors as religiosity and social capital influence student civic engagement.
The author teaches to awaken creativity in oneself, using emotions as a factor of motivation, explains the concept of critical thinking, gives the reader tools to add / edit publications to increase the clarity and rationality of their own judgments, and also shows where a particular theory is applicable
Contemporary argumentation theorists claim that argumentation has interactive, social, dynamic and dialogical nature and reflect social constructivist perspective. Yet, there are multiple approaches to promoting a most effective learning approach and instruction. How can students learn to construct strong arguments and distinguish between facts and opinions?
There are three educational approaches for developing argument skills: oral, written and web-based discussions. Research results reveal that expended engagement in argumentative discourse improves the quality of arguments even if there is no instruction provided.
In our book we take a mixed approach to teaching which is based on experiential learning and direct instruction. Direct instruction provides students with requirements for their writing while the experiential approach emphasizes their engagement and practice.
For Russian students, engaging in a “two-sided” argument (versus "one-sided") seems to be challenging. A two-sided argument addresses the opposing argument, rather than simply arguing for one's own position. It is crucial that Russian students learn to engage in evidence-based argumentation where they provide a claim and support it by evidence or reasons in a certain way.
Another challenge is that English instructors may also have difficulty in explaining how to make arguments and how evidence can be applied in reading and writing. Many teachers seem to be unprepared to provide instructional support for learning argumentation skills.
Development of cognitive competence requires acknowledging the academic and disciplinary discourses. Russian students often struggle to attend to opponent's claims and stay focused on their own claims. They also fail to identify any weaknesses in the opponent’s arguments. However, when proper instruction is available students are able to apply arguments.
There are various approaches to defining argument structure. Some researchers highlight a claim supported by grounds, warrants and backing. Others suggest argument-counterargument integration for defining an argument schema and suggest strategies to construct an integrative argument: refutation, constructing a design claim and weighing.
Whatever approach is chosen, one learning goal is for teachers and for students to become aware of the existing strategies and decide why they follow it. This is part of the goal of metacognitive development. It is also important to incorporate reflective activities into learning as they help to ensure that reasoning skills become internalized.
In addition to gaining awareness of the strategies and reflection, a learner should gain a deeper understanding of the content and persuading others with their arguments. Students should learn generate arguments that incorporate multiple perspectives of an issue. Our book employs reflective activities as a primary pedagogical tool for the improving argument and reasoning skills.
Our book is in line with the experiential learning which we see as the process of learning when students’ knowledge is based on their experience. “Knowledge results from the combination of grasping and transforming experience" (Kolb, 1984, p. 41 in Kolb, et al., 2000). The learning process is structured in four stages including first experience (preliminary questions in each section), reflective observation (theoretical excerpts and sample writings), abstract conceptualization (end-of-the-section questions) and active experimentation (thinking, speaking, writing activities).
In our book we also scaffold argumentative written discourse and break up learning activities into different aspects. There are such techniques as working in collaborative pairs, reflective activities, dialogues and discussions.
The development of metacognition is based on extended reading activities and speaking. It will help ensure students become reflective about their reasoning and evidence. Apart from having students develop stronger arguments, we invite them to engage more with the opposing position which isn't necessarily false.
We do believe that mastering critical writing skills help students become better critical thinkers.