Title: Critical Dialogues: An Innovative Assessment Approach to Advancing Critical Reasoning Within the University
Stream: Teaching Experiences, Pedagogy, Practice & Praxis
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Michael Drewett, Rhodes University, South Africa
Critical reasoning is a core requirement for Humanities students within a university context. While there isn’t absolute agreement amongst scholars on what critical reasoning involves, it is generally agreed that an important aspect is the ability to construct and analyze arguments. Hence there has been a tendency for teachers of critical reasoning to focus on teaching students to argue. In this paper one particular method of assessment, known as the critical dialogue, which has been used to facilitate critical reasoning will be considered. Critical dialogues are successfully used to encourage students to develop a critical approach to their assignment writing. They are a creative means of fostering awareness of how arguments work, involving both an analysis of other people’s arguments and the construction of one’s own arguments. This paper focuses on how critical dialogues facilitate critical reasoning, using examples of student dialogues to exemplify various aspects of dialogue writing. It will be shown that there are a number of advantages to incorporating critical dialogue writing as a means of assessment in social science and arts courses.
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