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Universiteit Leiden

THINK!Critical-Thinking For Primary Education

Abbey Gilchrist
Ben Wolfrum
Carlo Ciocca Vasino
Michele Pulicelli


The ideological underpinnings of our educational systems are characterized by a rigid focus on standardization; heritage of the industrial “efficiency-proof” production, this mentality is increasingly exhibiting the limitations of scope and reach resulting from its own strictness. With the world set towards a pluralist/inclusive globalization, information flodding unconfined into everyday life, and the vanishing of spontaneous political participation, the call for diversified, resilient, autonomous, and responsible individuals grows ever-demanded. However, despite the emergency of new challenges, our educational system has yet to adapt accordingly. Hence, our decision to develop an educational tool designed specifically to tackle the aforementioned set of issues, and provide students with the fundamental skills necessary to autonomously conduct themselves through the political and personal life.

Chiefly, following a six-week period of research, lectures and meeting aimed at navigating different perspectives on learning and education, we’ve produced a set of interventions seeking to foster critical thinking (both at individual and group levels) via playful interaction, role-playing, open discussion and collaborative decision-making.

While problem-based learning, mixed-techniques, role-playing and self-reflection represent the core pedagogical features of our project, the philosophical “Socratic” enterprise best epitomizes the underlying spirit of inquiry that we seek to embed in the class environment. Our project is committed to the formation of autonomous critical thinkers oriented toward a “Community of Inquiry”: a group-oriented dialectic exchange aimed at the discovery of truth.

Ultimately, our mission is to provide initiate children towards a mature, respectful, and responsible citizenship. Learners nurtured by the seeds of critical thinking, driven by an empathic understanding of social dynamics, on the path to a sound discovery of their own truths.


Please click here to access the THINK! handbook.