Thursday, September 14, 2006

‘Developing Critical and Creative Thinkers’

‘Developing Critical and Creative Thinkers’ – Keynote address by Dr. Robert Swartz
Faculty & Staff Luncheon
Intercontinental Hotel Ballroom
Thursday 14th September 2006

Giving us sustenance of a different type to the excellent fare put on at the Intercontinental Hotel, Al Ain, and sandwiched in between UGRU Dean, Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni’s welcoming Introductory Remarks and the Annual Long Service Awards at UGRU, Dr. Robert Swartz, gave us plenty to digest.

Drawing upon his experiences entering the UAE in Dubai, Dr. Swartz outlined his thoughts on what can be done to encourage our students to think creatively and critically.

Dr. Swartz held that, as some think, that although thinking is a natural process, it is the conscious processes that go into mature decision making that can indeed be fostered in our classrooms.

Adding that students think things out, often without any help, sometimes to the amazement of their teachers,, but that nevertheless, we should build in activities that do indeed aid such thinking skills.

This seemed to naturally follow on what Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni had said earlier, when he spoke of the need to “utilize the resources” available. Dr. Mohammed revealed that 10,000 students had been educated by teachers and staff in the previous academic year, and many more are already enrolled to receive tuition again this semester.

Week 2 of the new semester is a timely intervention on Dr. Swarz’s behalf, with seminars and workshops already completed for teachers instructed in how to aid critical thinking in the classroom. Dr. Swartz will follow up his workshops, seminars and this talk today, by observing teachers so instructed.

If we can encourage our students to be ‘proud of their ideas’, success will undoubtedly follow in the coming programmes.
Robert Leslie Fielding


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