Critical and creative thinking across the curriculum
The imparting of knowledge (content) and the development of thinking skills are accepted today as primary purposes of education. The explicit teaching and embedding of critical and creative thinking throughout the learning areas encourages students to engage in higher order thinking. By using logic and imagination, and by reflecting on how they best tackle issues, tasks and challenges, students are increasingly able to select from a range of thinking strategies and employ them selectively and spontaneously in an increasing range of learning contexts.
Activities that foster critical and creative thinking should include both independent and collaborative tasks, and entail some sort of transition or tension between ways of thinking. They should be challenging and engaging, and contain approaches that are within the ability range of the learners, but also challenge them to think logically, reason, be open-minded, seek alternatives, tolerate ambiguity, inquire into possibilities, be innovative risk-takers and use their imagination.
Critical and creative thinking is addressed through the learning areas and is identified wherever it is developed or applied in content descriptions. It is also identified where it offers opportunities to add depth and richness to student learning in content elaborations. An icon indicates where Critical and creative thinking has been identified in learning area content descriptions and elaborations. A filter function on the Western Australian Curriculum website assists users to identify P–10 curriculum content where critical and creative thinking has been identified. Teachers may find further opportunities to incorporate explicit teaching of critical and creative thinking depending on their choice of activities. Students can also be encouraged to develop capability through personally relevant initiatives of their own design.