Critical Thinking in the Schools: Why Doesn't Much Happen?

Ian Wright


The teaching of critical thinking in public schooling is a central aim. Yet, despite its widespread acceptance in curriculum documents, critical thinking is rarely taught. Motivated by Onosko (1991), and by the efforts of some post-secondary instructors of critical thinking to get critical thinking taught in schools, I look at the recent literature on (a) critical thinking in the social studies, (b) definitions of, and programs in critical thinking, (c) teachers beliefs, and (d) the milieus in which teachers work. I pose three questions and provide tentative hypotheses as to why critical thinking is not being implemented in schools.


critical thinking, implementation, teachers, schools, teacher abilities, teacher beliefs, teacher dispositions, schoolchildren

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ISSN: 0824-2577