Critical thinking and the History teacher : cultivating a philosophy of praxis

  • Michael Walsh

Student thesis: Professional Doctorate


The focus of the study was to better understand how a teacher in the History classroom perceives critical and creative thinking and how that thinking manifests in their classroom practice. The Australian Curriculum was examined to establish how critical thinking was understood and how teachers were expected to employ it in schools. Using Carspecken’s Critical Qualitative Research methodology, three History teachers in the Australian Capital Territory region were observed and interviewed. The findings show that teachers do not use the Australian Curriculum in any systematic way when planning how to implement critical thinking into the classroom. The findings suggest that the teachers themselves are not always clear on what constitutes critical thinking in their practice. Due to these findings, I propose a Critical Pedagogical Framework. The Framework is designed to ensure criticality in a teacher’s thinking so that their pedagogical content knowledge can assist in strengthening the democratic project, leading to emancipation of the student. I recommend the Framework is adopted in Education Faculties and taught to all pre-service teachers.
Date of Award2021
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorPhilip Roberts (Supervisor), Amanda Edwards (Supervisor), Katja Mikhailovich (Supervisor) & Wayne Hawkins (Supervisor)

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