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Effects of dialogic learning on value-loaded critical thinking

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Learning and Instruction Volume 18, Number 1, ISSN 0959-4752 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Education should endeavour to include the competences that students need to participate in a democratic society in a responsible and adequate way. The crucial question is how this can be realized in a curriculum aimed at domain-specific knowledge and skills and organized in school subjects. In this article we present a study on teaching value-loaded critical thinking in pre-vocational secondary education implemented in the school subject of Biology. The sample comprised 297 students. We developed two lesson series for teaching value-loaded critical thinking: a Dialogic lesson series and a Non-Dialogic one. The results indicated that the dialogic learning condition, compared to the non-dialogic, resulted in a more positive effect on the critical-thinking competences of the students, both in terms of generative fluency of reasoning and quality of value orientation. The higher scores on critical-thinking variables were not at the expense of the subject-matter knowledge of Biology taught in these lessons.


Frijters, S., ten Dam, G. & Rijlaarsdam, G. (2008). Effects of dialogic learning on value-loaded critical thinking. Learning and Instruction, 18(1), 66-82. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved November 18, 2019 from .

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