Best Practice

Using television to develop critical thinking

Developing students’ critical thinking and questioning skills is crucial in today’s internet-driven age. Dr Andrew K Shenton discusses using broadcast drama to achieve this.

Three years ago, I wrote how modern releases of bygone television series on DVD have effectively breathed new life into tie-in books published when the works were first broadcast. What is perhaps more surprising is the way in which many old television productions can serve as ideal vehicles for promoting critical thinking among pupils in our schools today.

Critical thinking is an important component within the teaching of information skills. In recent years, the need to appraise information rigorously has become vital as youngsters have to distinguish between sound and untrustworthy content that can be found on the internet.

So much material of such varying quality and origin is available via the internet that skills associated with effective discrimination are pivotal to use of the modern electronic information environment. 

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