Critical Thinking (AS)
This is a course at AS level which students can opt to do in the Lower Sixth year, in addition to their four AS subjects.
Why Critical Thinking?
It is a good supplement to any combination of AS subjects as the skills it develops are relevant to all areas of academic study and also to practical situations such as interviews.
AS Critical Thinking is not the study of a specific subject. Rather, it develops skills which are transferable to any subject. It is a concept course rather than a content one; students are tested by how they think rather than by what they know (although there will be some specialist terminology to master and remember). As the course title suggests, it is about learning how to think and reason, how to decide on the value and quality of information given and how to write in a logical and coherent way.
Unit 1 – Introduction to Critical Thinking
Students investigate the language of reasoning, examine how arguments are constructed and how evidence can be evaluated. Students also compare the relative credibility of individuals and source evidence, within the context of a given scenario, by applying a range of credibility criteria.
Unit 2 – Assessing and Developing Argument
This Unit focuses on detailed analysis of arguments, critical evaluation of arguments (identifying strengths and flaws in reasoning) and developing one’s own reasoned arguments in response to stimulus material.
This AS Level is assessed by written examinations on Introduction to Critical Thinking and Assessing and Developing Argument.
Beyond AS Level
Critical Thinking, as an academic discipline, equips students with a range of reasoning and evaluation skills. This helps them to think deeply and in a highly structured way, so providing a firm basis for further study in subjects beyond AS Level. Students will find Critical Thinking skills of great benefit in preparing for a wide range of careers, including the fields of law, academic research, social science, journalism, medicine, business, accounting and engineering.