This is an AS Level course, one of a group of qualifications open to students mid-year, if they wish to change what they are studying.
The AS level Critical Thinking course straddles Years 12 and 13. The teaching begins in the Spring Term of Year 12 and the Unit 1 exam is taken in May. The Unit 2 course begins the Autumn term of Year 13, and the Unit 2 exam is sat in January.
This course aims to develop powers of analysis and reasoning. You will learn how to test sources for credibility, and to evaluate evidence and testimony systematically. You will learn how to recognize, criticize and develop arguments, and to identify and name mistakes in reasoning.
Unit 1 concerns the language of reasoning and credibility
Unit 2 concerns the analysis, evaluation and development of arguments.
Unit 1 – Candidates will be presented with two or more passages and required to respond to short answer questions.
Unit 2 – Candidates will be required to answer multiple-choice questions on a set of short passages, as well as to analyze a longer argument and critically present their own case.
Special Entry Requirements
Candidates should have at least a C in Maths, English and science at GCSE. The course is aimed at developing argumentative skills, and a willingness to participate in class and to value argumentation is essential.
Career and Progression
We are surrounded by the mass media and masses of data and messages. Critical thinking is invaluable in assessing and understanding such things, and in developing a responsible and rational viewpoint of your own: as such it is highly valued by employers and admissions tutors.
Lessons will involve discussions, watching DVDs and working through exercises in critical thinking and learning the terminology required in this field. The course is entirely skills - based, and there is no homework. Accuracy, concentration and thinking hard are the important things.