Critical thinking

Critical thinking is an NSW Department of Education approved elective course.

Introduction

Critical thinking provides students with the skills, tools and opportunities to improve their problem-solving skills and higher-order thinking skills. Students will conduct project work that provides opportunities to think critically, build creatively, write for an audience, and manage time and effort.

Course structure

Students may undertake either 100 or 200 hours of study in Critical Thinking in Stage 5. Courses are structured in the following ways:

  • A 100-hour course consisting of Core 1 and Core 2 and one option
  • A 200-hour course consisting of Core 1 and Core 2 and four options.

Advice for leaders on whole school considerations, key information and further support for Critical thinking.

Fact sheet for leaders

Whole school considerations

Schools may need to consider the following if delivering Critical thinking in 2022:

  • provision of adequate time for planning and programming
  • resourcing, including
    • staffing
    • new teaching resources and materials
  • budget implications to upskill teachers, including casual release.

The Critical thinking course has been developed in consultation with schools that previously delivered the course as a school-developed board endorsed course, however, there have been significant changes to the course content and requirements.

Important information:

  • Critical thinking may be delivered as a 100 or 200-hour course
  • A set of resources has been published to support the implementation of Critical thinking in schools, including
    • course documents
    • sample scope and sequences
    • assessment advice.

The following support is available for schools:

A comprehensive overview of the outcomes, content and requirements for satisfactory completion of the course.

Course

In order to comply with the Curriculum planning and programming, assessing and reporting to parents K-12 Policy and associated policy standards, schools must use the course document to develop educational programs for students.

Illustrative examples of how to sequence the core and options topics.

Scope and sequence

Scope and sequences are flexible documents and may vary according to local school contexts and student cohorts, provided they comply with the course documents.

A range of teaching and learning activities and resources that may be used to deliver the course content.

Teaching resources

Schools may choose to adapt or modify this content or use other materials suitable to their local context, provided they comply with the course documents.

Assessment advice and examples aligning to course content

Assessment

Department approved elective courses are not eligible for credentialing on the Record of School Achievement (RoSA). Assessment activities should reflect the school's organisation of the course and provide students with opportunities to demonstrate their learning.

Support for department-approved elective courses

Contact

Lyndal Bimson

Teaching and Learning Advisor

lyndal.bimson1@det.nsw.edu.au

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