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Posted on 12 Nov 2020

New research suggests IB students are better critical thinkers

This week all eyes have been on the United States as election results unfolded amid a typhoon of conflicting and misleading information from people in power. It has been a prime example of the necessity for citizens and journalists to be able to discern the accuracy of the information they are presented with them. What skills do we need to do this?

At Westminster Academy, critical thinking skills are developed throughout school, such as in cross-referencing sources, interpreting data and analyzing the effect of language. In the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBDP) and Career-related (IBCP) programmes, critical thinking becomes central to teaching and learning. As well as evaluating and applying knowledge across all subjects, critical thinking is a key element of the Extended Essay in the IBDP and the Reflective Project in the IBCP. The IBDP even has its own mandatory ‘critical thinking course’ called Theory of Knowledge (TOK), during which students reflect on the very nature of knowledge and how we know what we claim to know.

So it is fantastic to read about new research from the University of Oxford which shows that IB students ‘exhibit significantly stronger critical thinking skills than non-IB peers.’ The article (here) states that studies indicate ‘critical thinking skills are key determinants of collective and individual success’, hence these skills are held in such high regard by universities, schools, parents, carers and students.

Find out more about TOK and IB courses at our upcoming Sixth Form Open Evening Online, Tuesday 24 November 5pm. Register here

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