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Miloš Jeremić: How (not) to Teach Critical Thinking?
16 November 2020. 12:00 - 14:00
For a teacher used to their traditional role as a lecturer, only occasionally engaged in a dialogue with a small number of students or in asking them "thought-provoking" questions, critical thinking has become an “appendage” to be attached to a lesson plan, a project or the newly proclaimed butterfly-competencies for democratic culture. However, when we decide to attend a class or converse with the teacher we don't find any traces of critical thinking. Actually, anyone who practices critical thinking will recognize that its name contains a pleonasm. Thinking is either critical or there isn't any thinking at all. This talk was supposed to be called "Don't lecture critical thinking". Where lecturing starts, critical thinking disappears. How, then, should children be taught to think critically? To start with, teacher must be thinker, and to be a thinker they must be a philosopher, and philosophy is, as we know, destructive, subversive and seriously shakes the foundations on which we proudly stand. What should teachers do to instigate critical thinking in children? They must incessantly think critically and ask questions that will kick students out of their comfort zone, provoking cognitive conflict and emotions.
Miloš Jeremić is a philosophy teacher at the Požarevac Gymnasium and the author of a philosophy textbook. He is the pioneer of the method of cooperative learning and philosophy with children in Serbia. Cooperating with Oskar Brenifier, but also with Ann Sharp, he never accepted any one school of philosophical thinking and philosophical consultancy. That is how, non-intentionally, he created a new approach to philosophy with children, first noticed by professor Larisa Retyunskikh, who teaches this approach every year at the Lomonosov Moscow State University. Jeremić promoted his approach to philosophy with children through workshops and masterclasses in Italy, Austria, Spain, France, Germany, Montenegro, Turkey and Iran. From 2014 to 2017 he was engaged as an independent expert for education at the Council of Europe where he worked in the project team and realized international teacher training. He published articles in peer-reviewed journals and books in Croatia and the UK, and gave interviews and wrote articles to popularize philosophy with children in Poland. He organized the Serbian Philosophy Olympiad in 2011, which still takes place annually, whose winners participated at the International Philosophy Olympiad with notable success, from honorary to gold medals. He is a member of the International Jury of the International Philosophy Olympiad. He is one of the participants of the high-level UNESCO meeting held in Milan in 2011. where the document Recommendations on the Teaching of Philosophy in Europe and North America was created and adopted. Not to forget what's most important, he is n excellent connoisseur of heavy metal, rock and blues, he plays acoustic and electric guitar, harmonica and kazoo.