Critical thinking development and character education within ELT at the upper secondary level

Michaela Sepešiová, Univeristy of Prešov, Slovakia

Abstract: Character Education has emerged as a beneficial platform for 21st-century skills promotion. When dealing with these skills, the 4 Cs can be understood as a crucial framework - critical thinking, communication, creativity, and collaboration. The study highlights the importance of character education, namely virtues, and its possible impact on students' critical thinking development at the upper-secondary level within English language teaching and learning. Moreover, it attempts to show the practical activities and lesson plans supporting the improvement of students' critical thinking. Data from several studies (e.g., Rockenbach, 2020; Liang Weijun & Fung, 2021)  suggest an urgent need to address improving critical thinking skills as a generational decline in critical thinking and character education. In this paper, the term virtues will be used broadly to refer to morals and values attached to society, spirituality, and culture (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization,1991). All essential virtues, as subject matter, nurture the development of critical thinking. The final part points out that the primary goal of character education depends on a high-quality mutual relationship between everyone involved in the learning and teaching environment.




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