Dramatized scripts to promote critical thinking

Critical thinking is a skill. When properly acquired and put to use, it allows students to “evaluate arguments (from self and others), … and develop well-reasoned resolutions to complex problems” (Allegretti and Frederick 1995). Cultivating critical thinking skills remains a key goal of American higher education (van Gelder 2005; Roth, 2010; Behar-Horenstein and Niu 2011). However, teaching practice and pedagogies in higher education continue to emphasize “what to think rather than how to think” (Daud and Husin, 2004, p. 478). One reason for this is practice of directive teaching (Stephens 1974) that has dominated course design and delivery. Whether and how critical thinking skills can even be taught through instruction remains an open question (Tsui 2002). Also open to debate is whether such effort should be integrated with teaching subject-specific knowledge and skills (e.g. database design). I am experimenting with “Dramatized Scripts” as a strategy for teaching critical thinking skills, integrated with teaching subject-specific knowledge and skills. Dramatized Scripts present the learners authentic yet controlled settings in which to acquire and practice critical thinking skills. They provide a constrained space, where students can follow different persona or allow their imagination to take over as they generate, consider and evaluate alternative arguments.

  • Purao, S., and C. Strange. 2021. Business Process Management: A Dramatized Journey. Book Manuscript.
  • Purao, S. Dramatized Scripts as a Strategy to Teach Critical Thinking Skills. Working Paper.