Development of an Evaluative Framework for Supporting Critical Thinking Skills Using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Interfaces: Building a Conceptual Framework
The realities of the 21st century requires learners to take active position in solving problems which humanity faces every day. The rise of extremism, military conflicts, racism, nationalism, poverty and ecological disasters are among the sharpest problems needed to be solved by cooperative efforts worldwide. Moreover, another reality represented by ever growing market competition puts additional pressure on learners and decision-makers on what and how should be learned at schools today. Fortunately, some skills are believed to be universal means to solve a variety of the tasks as their mastery is about to bring learners to success in many challenges in the life.
In Kazakhstan, as in many other countries, it is widely accepted that critical thinking skills are among the major components that are integral to meeting the needs of learners today. Current research on the relationship between the development of critical thinking skills and the use of ICT in education appears to be a relatively young sphere of educational research. The literature primarily concentrates on ICT as a supportive tool for increased engagement and collaboration, however, there is little data concerning the identification of key strategies or features to support the development of critical thinking skills that can be embedded within an ICT interface. This study elaborates on the concept of critical thinking and draws the relationship between critical thinking skills and ICT learning interfaces. At the same time, the presented investigation brings necessary theoretical background for the further development of the framework for educators as a way to evaluate ICT learning interfaces in how well they can support the development of critical thinking skills. The results of prospected study may be of high relevance to practitioners in the field of education as well as for designers of ICT learning interfaces.