Fostering Critical Thinking in Singapore Primary Mathematics Classrooms
Pearlyn LIM Li Gek, LEE Ngan Hoe, and CHUA Boon Liang
National Institute of Education
Nanyang Technological University
Published in The Mathematician Educator, 2020, Vol 1, No. 1, pp 25-42.
In order to prepare students for the 21st century, it is important to foster critical thinking in students. This paper explores the teaching of critical thinking during mathematics lessons at the primary level in Singapore. It suggests lesson features of primary mathematics lessons that could further encourage students to think critically, which include the kind of tasks used, the use of Socratic questioning by the teacher, supportive behavior of teachers as well as communicating assessment criteria to students. The identified lesson features have been enacted in a Primary 4 mathematics classroom. In this paper, students’ work showing elements of critical thinking in a lesson on the topic of decimals are presented and discussed.