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Wed, 20 Apr 2011 13:02:38 EDT by admin, 132174 views
Pannon University, Veszprém
Education paper by Fábián, Gyöngyi (all papers)
Developing Students’ Critical Thinking in Hungarian Schools [withdrawn]
Advanced thinking in general, and more specifically, advanced critical thinking appears to be one of the crucial competencies in the survival of the invididual among the paraphernalia of ideas, values and conceptions in our modern times.
Recent changes in the social, cultural and political environment within Hungary have triggered a boost in studies in foreign languages at all levels of the education system. Besides the obvious potentials of the foreign language classroom, which is the improvement of the students’ communicative competencies and the knowledge of the foreign culture, the presentation suggests that education in the foreign language is one of the domains providing excellent possibilities for the improvement of the critical thinking of learners.
First, the presentation intends to reveal some typical features of the educational contexts and practices with a special focus on the current situation of developing the critical thinking of students in Hungary. It will do so through presenting the results of a small scale research based on the distinctive features of individualist and collectivist cultures, a theory of an anthropological character developed by Hofstede (1986). Furthermore, the crucial features of educational environments facilitating beneficial changes in students’ thinking processes will be discussed.
In addition, an insight into the potentials of foreign language encounters in developing critical thinking will be provided through the portray of the ‘intercultural speaker’ (Byram 1997) in order to emphasize the new role and the responsiblities of education in the foreign language in Hungarian schools.
Finally, the short-term and long-term benefits of the above educational efforts will be highlighted.
Brief Professional Bio:
Gyöngyi Fábián is EFL teacher and teacher trainer, lecturer at the University of Pannonia, Hungary. She holds a Ph.D. in Education (Foreign Language Teaching) from the University of Pannonia. Since 1990, she has been teaching English as a Foreign Language at all ages and levels at various higher education institutions in Hungary. Since 1995 she has been coordinating novice teachers’ teaching practices and conducting courses in various aspects of foreign language teaching methodology as well as of general education.
Her field of research is at the cross section of psychology, sociology and education; recently she has been engaged in exploring the social aspects of learning and teaching. Her publication accomplishments include EFL course materials, tests and research into teacher role. She has read papers at national and international conferences. Currently she is materials developer at Pannon Language Examination Center and the institutional head of the board coordinating the studies of disadvantaged students at Pannon University.