I can guess that you are reading this post because of its title. Unusual, isn’t it?

The matter is just a week ago I enrolled into Critical Thinking course. Today was the first day. Critical thinking became so popular over the last few years especially. Right now it is one of the most important skills that can be applied into classroom activities. I didn’t study critical thinking skills before, so I expected and expect to enrich my knowledge about it. I hope that everybody will like critical thinking ‘for breakfast’. If you want to find out more about the skill, keep up reading further.

Critical thinking course is aimed to teach teachers critical thinking skills and apply the knowledge acquired into practice and try on their own experience. All in all, there are over 50 participants. The course, organized by Cambridge, consists of five stages, each lasting for five days. Right now we are in the first stage, which will last from March 28 till March 31. I have 25 people in my group and today we got acquainted with all of them. We managed to do through different activities our trainer from Cambridge University with 22 years of teaching background, prepared for us. 22 years! It means that our trainer began teaching languages when I was just born. Now in two ten-years time she teaches me.

If a teacher needs to introduce many students to each other, she/he can manage to do it through different activities as asking questions (Find someone, who speaks German/is Gemini, who studied abroad, etc.)  for better interaction. Also, a teacher can make students form a line according to their birthdays. Then she/he can give them letters to divide them into groups. (Letters=groups). Further, a teacher should enable each member of the group to feel responsibility for their team. She/he can do it by asking to design their emblem, group name, logo… Mutual collaborative work makes them know each other better. All these activities work well. That’s what our trainer did today.

We did many activities, but I liked the one called Critical thinking practical activity. The activity makes you use your inner critical thinking skills you don’t (didn’t) know about before. We were offered to think about a big purchase (house, car,…) we had done/will do. The method doesn’t present something innovative by itself, but what was new for me was stages of the procedure. It comprises:

Deconstruction

Reconstruction

Reflection

Communication

All these stages with definite questions help to think about your purchase thoroughly.

However, the most important thing was the connection between my previous course (Professional Development Program) and Critical Thinking. The last one establishes and shows strong connections between Critical thinking and Active learning. Active learning is student-centered learning on its part. A student centered learning is what I learned from my PDP teacher.This course proved again that “We cannot teach today’s students with yesterday’s way”. Though I was taught, mostly, a traditional way of teaching. When I had a practice at school, I used traditional and modern methods of teaching equally.

Nevertheless, it is going to be a starting point of my teaching way, which totally changed from teacher-centered to student-centered one. Anyway, it is better to be guide on the side than sage on the stage.

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After Kazakhstan has celebrated Kazakh New Year – Nauryz, now it is time to continue what started before it. It seems to me that after Nauryz holiday, this year of my life can be divided to two parts: before Nauryz and after. I completed my PDP course, received my certificate and saw my teacher off to America. That was time full of something special and dear for me. Now I am back to the University after the holidays, but the things have changed. No more PDP classes, no more quest speakers and no more assignments on Moodle.

What I don’t like doing is doing nothing. If I am in nothing-to-do condition, I get bored. I hardly find place to stay. Fortunately, I am lucky to be enrolled to Critical Thinking course, organized by Cambridge and Orken administration. I like theories, which brings food for your dream. That is what I expect from critical thinking course. Telling the truth, I do know nothing about thinking from critical point of view. Of course, if not to consider, what I learned from my groupmate, who did research on critical thinking and my brother, who studied critical thinking course in Korea. According to my brother’s words, it is a very interesting subject, and it really makes your brain cells move actively. When I informed him that I enrolled into Critical Thinking course, he told me different riddles his teacher in Korea used to tell them. Some of them are easy to interpret, some of them – hard, but the answers are too simple. Simple . . . if you think correctly.

Critical thinking course will start a new stage in my educational life. Thinking about everything, happening with me, I even sometimes wonder how I managed to achieve it. I mean to do it for I know many achievements await me in future. Sometimes, I feel proud of myself. I have nothing to tell about my parents’, friends’ and relatives’ impressions.

What I know for sure is that with such luggage of knowledge, I won’t stay in one place. Actually, I hate being in one place every time. Boring, isn’t it?!

Sometimes, I get disappointed because of school practice duration, translations and uncertainty of staying in Astana, but after thinking about everything thoroughly I realize that I am surrounded with great possibilities. I mean, after thinking critically…

Thank to everyone, who has helped, helps and will help me to accomplish what I am doing now.