San Sisto College Ahead of the Curve in Critical Thinking - UQ

San Sisto College “Ahead of the Curve” in Critical Thinking - UQ

San Sisto College, Carina, has been recognised by the University of Queensland (UQ) as ahead of the curve among Queensland secondary colleges in critical thinking pedagogy.​​​

Since 2018, the college has collaborated with the university in piloting its Critical Thinking Program which supports philosophical inquiry and was hailed this​ year by the University’s Director of the Critical Thinking Project, Professor Deborah Brown, as “ahead of the curve” of current teaching practices in secondary schools. San Sisto College and UQ became official project partners in early 2023.
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In its recent Excellence Awards, Brisbane Catholic Education also
commended San Sisto College for the program which prepares students to evaluate evidence, to reflect and ask questions, to consider and respectfully challenge multiple points of view within the context of the democratic “Socratic Circle”, and to create arguments through logical steps. Assistant Principal Learning and Pedagogy (Acting) Mrs Tina Gibson said critical thinking is especially important for female students.

“Teaching to think is an essential pedagogical practice, especially in the education of females who tend to be good at memorising and repeating facts but under-practised in reasoning and argument,” Mrs Gibson said.

“Delving into the why behind facts and data, plumbing deeper questions, breaking information down and recombining it in different ways, and evaluating source credibility prepares students for academic rigour at university, and gives them skills which are highly regarded in the workplace. Our students are equipped to evaluate choices, critically evaluate media, and challenge norms.

“These are the skills which enable young women to become confident and contributing citizens, leaders, and change makers.”

Critical thinking allows students to become confident seeking and evaluating sources of information. Modern media has put the world at the fingertips of students and teaching discernment about the quality of sources and information has become essential, according to Mrs Gibson.

“The digital world provides huge benefits and equally huge potential pitfalls,” said Mrs Gibson. “We’re equipping our students to evaluate their sources, to explore more sources to validate or challenge information, to delineate fact from opinion, and to develop reflective thought.”

​ ​​​© BCE, San Sisto College (2024).