Larbi, Frank Okai*
Beijing Normal University, China (email@example.com)
Critical thinking and skill development are elements that cannot be overlooked in basic education. This study aims to discover public basic education along with other external factors that influence the development of skills and critical thinking, which have influence on employability, productivity and international competitiveness. It focuses on four major areas that influence skill development and critical thinking in basic school students: the curriculum, teaching methods, teacher/student relationships and extra-curricular activities. This paper focuses on the impediments to the development of students’ critical thinking and skills, and methods and theories to be applied in the classroom to develop students’ critical thinking. In this study, I analyzed the junior high school (JHS) curriculum to identify the kind of skills it intends to develop and observed teachers’ pedagogy in the classroom. This study is a qualitative study, which adopted interview, observation and document analysis to collect and analyze data. The population considered in this research includes headmasters, teachers and students, and parents from three public schools located in the Ashanti region of Ghana. The findings of this study will allow the creation of effective pedagogy aimed at learning with practical approach; learning that includes dynamic roles of the classroom, teaching strategies and teaching and learning materials. Comprehensive recommendations have been provided for educational policy makers, educational directors, headmasters/mistress, and parents to cause a paradigm shift in the superannuated educational system in Ghana. Again, recommendations have been proposed to researchers on how to develop this research by focusing on the preeminence of utilizing technology and technological tools in the schools’ curriculum to enhance students’ critical thinking and skills.
Keywords: critical thinking; engaged pedagogy; curriculum; basic education