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Knowledge and Critical Thinking

Knowledge can contribute to recognizing prejudice and revealing generalizations. Still, more knowledge does not automatically mean less prejudices. Some forms of knowledge could even uphold injustice. Because of this, critical thinking is central to prevent prejudices.

In the schools' curriculum critical thinking is related to curiosity and scientific ways of thinking. The students should ask questions about established practices and understandings, and also recognize that their own perceptions can be incomplete. The ability to doubt and ask questions can hinder black-and-white-thinking and fixed ideas of others.

Through giving the students knowledge and strengthening their abilities for reflection, all school subjects can contribute to preventing prejudice. Knowledge and critical thinking is also important when one is faced with conspiracy theories. Conspiracy theories are ideas claiming that someone has gathered in secrecy to realize something to harm others.

Under this topic you will find more information about knowledge and critical thinking. Additionally, you will also find activities and teaching plans meant to strengthen the students' abilities for reflection, such as philosophical conversations and an exercise in definitions.

Background material on the subject

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Academic text

Critical Thinking

Ingun Steen Andersen
Academic text

Working with Critical Thinking in the Classroom

Ingun Steen Andersen

Teaching plans on the topic

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30 - 45 min

Fact, opinion or prejudice?

Teaching session
30 - 60 min

Argument, Bigotry or Personal Attack?