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SUBJECT ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Grade C or above in 5 GCSE subjects –including Maths, but English Language requires a B Grade.

Is this course suitable for me?
Choose this subject if you want to win arguments!  It develops your analytical brain and encourages you to become a problem solver.  It helps you value the views of others and is a cross curricular subject which focuses on skills rather than content. Critical Thinking combines well with most other A level subjects.  Students who have taken this course over the past few years have said how it has helped in a number of subjects including Philosophy and Ethics, Business Studies, English Literature, History and Media Studies as it has helped them structure their answers to questions logically.  Students applying to Oxbridge, Veterinary, Medical or Law schools also benefit from the exam format being similar to entrance examinations and these institutions have spoken very positively on the value of this course. No prior knowledge is necessary.  You need to enjoy analysing problems and arguments, and communicating findings to a class and on paper. Those wishing to complete the AQABacc qualification will combine Critical Thinking with the Extended Project and voluntary work.

 

STUDENT COMMENTS

“This course is excellent!  I thought I was good at arguing, but I learnt a lot that can be applied to a range of scenarios.” Ben Thomas.  (Achieved an A grade and represented Liskeard School in Strasbourg at the European Parliament.)

“I found Critical Thinking extremely useful in helping me prepare for the BMAT and UKCAT entrance tests (for medical school)” Tom Keeley (achieved a B grade)

“ I was able to use skills acquired in university interviews and in my other subjects” Richard Perryman (achieved a B grade)

 

WHAT WILL I STUDY ON THIS COURSE?

You will learn how to:

  • Identify elements of reasoning
  • Evaluate reasoning of different kinds
  • Recognise and evaluate assumptions
  • Clarify expressions and ideas
  • Present arguments

AS
Unit 1 Introduction to Critical Thinking
We rely on the testimony of others for much of our information about the world, but how can we decide whether or not a source of information is reliable? When several sources of information conflict, what method can we use to decide which of them (if any) to believe? This unit gives answers to these questions, providing tools to assess the credibility of documents and individual witnesses, and with a framework for resolving disputes.

Unit 2 Assessing and developing an argument
In this unit you will be taught how to analyse the argument in a passage, establishing what evidence is being offered in support of what conclusion. Once this has been done, you will be asked to assess the strength of the support provided by the evidence, often exposing flaws in the reasoning. Finally, you are asked to construct persuasive arguments of your own, developing skills that should prove useful outside the classroom.

 

WHAT ARE THE WAYS IN WHICH TO STUDY?

You will have approximately one lesson a week which will include discussion and analysis on a range of contemporary issues, legal cases (including crime scenes) and historical reflection. A variety of teaching methods and strategies are employed throughout the course. Delivery is through the use of a wide range of current local, national and international media including case studies, DVDs and the internet. Literacy and numeric skills will be developed so you can identify, analyse and evaluate material, and respond with well-written answers. The course is designed to teach you to think logically and improve your analytical skills.

 

WHAT IS THE METHOD OF ASSESSMENT?

AS
Unit 1-1 hour and 30 minute exam-multiple choice and short answer questions
Unit 2-1 hour and 30 minute exam-essay type questions

 

WHEN WILL IT BE ASSESSED?

Unit 1 in June
Unit 2 in June

 

RESULTS

2012 100% A-D pass rate with 80% gaining a grade C or above
2013 100% A-D pass rate with 50% gaining a grade B or above

 

WHAT NEXT?

This course may inspire an interest in Philosophy, Law or many other subjects at Degree level and would be useful in any career where communication is important.

 

COURSE DETAILS

Examination Board:OCR
http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/asa_levelgceforfirstteachingin2008/critical_thinking/index.html
(Although Critical Thinking is taught in a small number of hours it still counts as a full A level with corresponding UCAS points.)

 

WHO TO CONTACT FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

Mr S Gray

 

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