30 Jan
Learning Leadership: Improving Critical Thinking Skills

Cristina Bumboiu, teacher and English Curriculum Leader at Avenor College, is one of the members of the leadership team involved in an international training programme dedicated to leaders in education. Today, Cristina tells us more about her project, “Improving Critical Thinking Skills”.

Avenor College: Can you briefly describe your project?

Cristina Bumboiu: Critical thinking translates into a clear and free mind. Learning a new skill does not happen through memorizing information, but through developing the ability to process and work information that we are exposed to. A lot of skills can come under the umbrella of critical thinking: from learning a new language, to understanding a cultural or social context which leads to the development of a certain culture. Therefore, my project is based on the use of “visible learning” strategies to help students select and then analyse the information to then externalise it in front of others. These are abilities that all citizens of the future will need on the road to success.

A.C.: How did you come up with the idea of ​​the project and how does it impact student’s academic life?

C.B.: I believe that in modern society the ability to think critically and to collaborate with others in the learning process has had and will continue to play an important role in the lives of current students – the entrepreneurs of the future. Critical thinking is an essential characteristic of one’s personal and/or professional life, as it helps in communicating ideas and understanding a wide range of concepts. Communication therefore becomes much clearer and more effective.

By developing this skill in school, it becomes much easier for students to create their own learning journeys and to shape their own future, as they have the ability to understand each and every new subject they encounter, they can make connections between information already acquired and new content, which helps them become confident in making their own choices.

A.C.: What are the results you are aiming for?

C.B.: The results I am aiming for go beyond the academic side of the students’ lives as the chosen activities will help them search and find the essence of each new information, beyond the surface. This means that they will be able to analyse any situation from multiple perspectives and to make informed decisions.

Finally, the development of critical thinking does not bring immediate benefits to the student only, but also to the community they are part of. They will be able, at the end of their academic career, to ask relevant questions without being afraid of the reaction of those around them, to support a point of view, to cooperate with their colleagues, to exchange ideas and to accept different points of view, these being some of the global characteristics of a 21st century citizen.

Together with Cristina Bumboiu, six other teachers from our school participate in the National Professional Qualification for Middle Leaders (NPQML) programme. This training helps them develop the skills, knowledge and confidence they need in order to lead a performing team in an international school and to improve classroom practice. During the training programme, our teachers develop a project designed to meet a need of the department they represent. We invite you to read on our blog a series of interviews about the NPQML projects of the Avenor College teachers.

Another interview from the series: Learning Leadership: The Impact of Technology in the Classroom

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