Critical thinking development: training programme for Poland educators


Project duration: 2005-2006

Project supported by:
Open Society Institute-New York

Project partner:
Teachers' Training Centre of Białystok, Poland

Project was implemented as part of RWCT International Consortium activities.

Project aims
  • To spread ideas of innovative education based on critical thinking development in Poland schools.
  • To prepare pupils for active citizenship, to inculcate norms and skills of democracy into class activities.
  • To help teachers reshape the process of education by implementing teaching methods that help students think critically and to become independent, lifelong learners. 
Project objectives
  • To implement the programme "Reading and Writing for Critical Thinking" (RWCT) in Poland.
  • To train the first generation of RWCT teachers, thus creating conditions for the programme continuation after the end of the project.
Project participants
Project was shaped for subject teachers of various education levels, that wish to improve their professional qualification and want to apply innovative teaching methods in their classes.
39 teachers from Białystok, £odzi, Varsaw and other cities of Poland participated in the project.

Project lecturers:
Daiva PENKAUSKIENE, director of Modern Didactics Center
Grazina SIVICKA, vice-principal of Vilnius A.Mickiewich gymnazium, teacher-expert of Polish language  

Project activities
During the project year lecturers delivered a complete course of RWCT workshops to in-country team:
1. A Framework for Active Learning and Critical Thinking
2. Methods for Promoting Critical Thinking
3. Reading/Writing/Discussion in Every Discipline
4. Further Strategies For Promoting Critical Thinking
5. Cooperative Learning
6. Lesson Planning and Assessment
7. Writing Workshop: From Self-Expression to Written Arguments
8. Creating Thoughtful Readers
9. Adult education

After each workshop participating teachers have practice the curriculum and adapt RWCT strategies based on individual circumstances. Between workshops, RWCT participants met with colleagues to discuss progress in mastering RWCT strategies. They also received feedback from RWCT lecturers who observed their classroom teaching.
After completing the entire RWCT course and performing RWCT Standards requirements, first-year participants have acquire qualification of RWCT Teacher. It is expected they will proceed to higher RWCT qualification category and become trainers for future generations of RWCT teachers in Poland.

Project results
  • Project participants acquired new knowledge and skills: they will be able to use a framework for teaching and a repertoire of effective techniques that promotes critical thinking and independent learning, become reflective practitioners. They students will be able to think critically, to be curious, and to use strategies of inquiry, to take responsibility for their own learning, to work cooperatively with others and to become life-long learners.
  • First generation of RWCT teachers in the regions of Poland were prepared. Teachers will be able to apply acquired knowledge in their own practice and share their experience with their colleagues.




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