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Senior ACT mini-lessons

Members can access the ACT mini-lessons for senior students (16-19) here. We add 15 new mini-lessons every month, linking the resource to the very latest real-world events and issues, so make sure you check back regularly.

The ACT mini-lessons can be used by any teacher to encourage authentic critical thinking about their subject, by tutors and PSE session-leaders, by EPQ coordinators, and by careers departments developing essential life skills.

Access the senior ACT mini-lessons

The senior years ACT mini-lessons are available to Faculty members of the site. Click on the relevant button below to access the mini-lesson for your subject. We’ve also provided a link to the middle years mini-lessons via the final button.

Receive 15 ACT mini-lessons every month exploring the very latest global issues

Members of the site receive 15 mini-lessons every month, which can be used by any teacher to develop authentic critical thinking, link their lessons to contemporary global events, and explore epistemological issues related to their subject. Join us here!

In the meantime, please help yourself to three of our latest mini-lessons (above), which demonstrate how we help learners to go beyond the headlines, and develop a deep understanding of what’s going on the contemporary real-world.

The 8 comparative concepts

We’ve selected 8 ‘comparative concepts’ that are of particular significance to us as authentic critical thinkers, and identified them with a red font in the mini-lessons. Use the comparative concepts as as a cognitive framework to understand the world, a tool to compare and contrast different subject knowledge, and as focus points to generate research tasks and debates. Here are some of the questions they can prompt – can you think of others?

In which subject area are we able to make the most certain claims about knowledge and understanding? Why does this variance exist? Does language allow us to be more certain about knowledge? Can certainty bring disadvantages in terms of our understanding of the world?

CULTURAL CONTEXTS

How does the nature of the subject areas differ in different cultures? Do mathematics and science transcend cultural differences? Do the arts deal with culturally universal concepts? Does the way we understand the world depend on the language we speak?

USING EVIDENCE

What role does evidence play in the different subject areas? How has technology changed the way we gather and use evidence? How does the selection of evidence shape our understanding? Does evidence support or challenge our assumptions about the world?

STAYING OBJECTIVE

Which subject deals with the most and least objective knowledge? Is mathematical knowledge completely objective? Can we be objective about art? Does technology increase objectivity? Do our political affiliations undermine our objectivity?

SHIFTING PERSPECTIVES

Which subject is most and least affected by different perspectives? How do our religious and political perspectives shape our worldview? Do our perspectives determine our language use? What forms our perspectives, and should we seek to escape them?

POWER & AGENDAS

How does power affect the way knowledge is produced within the subject areas? In what ways can language be used to consolidate power as ideas are communicated? How does political and religious power influence the way we understand the world?

ACCESSING THE TRUTH

In which of the subject areas is it easiest to access the truth? Is mathematics the only subject area that deals with truth? Has the development of technology allowed us to access the truth more easily? Does language help or hinder us from accessing the truth about the world?

KNOWLEDGE & VALUES

What is the relationship between the development of our values and the subject areas? Which of the subject areas deals most intimately with values? Does the way we use language have ethical implications? Does the possession of knowledge bring with it certain responsibilities?

Turn all your teachers into critical thinking teachers!

Our workshops demonstrate to all teachers – whatever their level, programme, or specialisation – how they can develop real-world critical thinking.

They’re engaging, jargon-free, and authentic, and give teachers practical takeaways that they can apply in the classroom, and help their students become nuanced, discerning knowers. Find out more here, and read our workshop brochure here.