To help students develop a critical approach to knowledge, have them interview experts on complex or controversial subjects.
European history is a subject in which knowledge is complex, multifaceted and controversial. For the Learning@Europe project, which aimed to give school students in several European countries a deeper sense of European culture and identity, the teachers decided that a textbook approach to the subject, presenting it as if it were fixed and settled, would be inappropriate.
Instead, students were at the outset provided with only some basic historical facts about each country. The core of their teaching came through interviews with academic experts on European history. Encountering different opinions, not only amongst experts of different nationalities but amongst experts from the same country, encouraged them to discuss the reasons behind the experts’ statements with each other and with their teacher, developing a critical approach to knowledge.
See pp. 15-17, ‘Using interviews to experts for encouraging a critical approach to knowledge’.
[Franca Garzotto, Caterina Poggi]
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