English Department, Imam Reza International University, Mashhad, Iran (firstname.lastname@example.org)
English Department, Imam Reza International University, Mashhad, Iran (email@example.com)
The present paper explored EFL teachers’ attitudes and perceptions toward critical thinking (CT). To do so, a three-phase study was designed. The first phase included an array of different steps to design and validate the ‘EFL Teachers’ Attitudes and Perceptions of Critical Thinking (CT)’ scale. The scale comprised 20 items measuring attitudes to CT and 20 items measuring perceptions of CT. The results of confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and reliability estimates demonstrated the acceptable validity and reliability indices. CFA also resulted in a more refined version of the scale. In the second phase, we utilized the validated questionnaire in two strikingly different milieus of language learning − formal (public high schools) vs. informal (private language institutes) − which differ in various respects. The findings of the second phase demonstrated significant differences between teachers’ attitudes and perception toward CT in the two contexts. It was also found that teachers’ attitudes and perceptions of CT differ neither by gender nor by teaching experience. Teachers’ educational level, nevertheless, was found to play a significant role in their attitudes and perceptions of CT. In other words, teachers with higher educational degree (MA) tended to deploy more sophisticated attitudes and perceptions toward CT in comparison with their counterparts with BA degree. The results of semi-structures interviews with 8 high school and institute teachers substantiated the findings of the second phase.
Keywords: critical thinking (CT); attitudes to CT; perceptions of CT; EFL teachers; high schools; language institutes