Open conference in Norway: “Critical thinking in school 2022”

In collaboration with the CLAE project, the University of Stavanger v/ Professor Alexandre Dessingue and Cappelen Damm Akademiske v/ senior editor teacher education, Katinka Lønne Christiansen, Jærskulen organized the first national Jærskulen conference in Norway.

The conference was held on 3-4 November 2022 at Hotell Jæren in Bryne, and 120 teachers, school leaders, school owners and researchers who wanted to learn more about how critical thinking could be understood and turned into practical classroom teaching participated. With recognized researchers from the field and teachers who shared practical teaching plans, this was in every way a successful conference

“If we’re going to achieve something, we have to involve the teaching profession,” said Siri Skjæveland Lode, central board member of the Education Association, when she took the teachers’ perspective on the work with critical thinking in schools. She was one of the speakers at the conference “Critical thinking in school” which was held on 3-4 November 2022 at Hotell Jæren in Bryne. Over 100 teachers, union representatives, school leaders, school owners and researchers were present to gain knowledge and practical examples of how to work with critical thinking in school.

The conference was opened by the mayor of Time municipality, Andreas Vollsund. Among other things, he emphasized the importance of critical thinking for today’s students, in the society they are part of now, but also considering that they are the future. Professor Alexandre Dessingué from UiS was the first speaker. He gave the audience an insight into what critical thinking is and how and why it must be emphasized in school!

The most widely traveled speaker was Dr. Vanessa Molina from the Institute Grammata in Canada. She gave the participant perspectives on dialogic critical thinking among children and young people, based on her specialist community’s research in Morocco, France, and Canada. It created a lot of interest in the room!

Hannah Baarøy from the Student Organization ended the first day by sharing thoughts about the concept of critical thinking and students’ experiences in today’s school. Interesting and thought provoking!

Day 2 opened with Lars Gule from OsloMet’s talk on extremism and radicalization. We all gained new perspectives and thoughts around this topic, perhaps especially on how the terms are used in different arenas.

Krister Staurset, a teacher at Vardheia junior high school, continued the conference by sharing his thoughts on how competence in critical thinking has influenced and developed his teaching role!

The subsequent parallel sessions where teachers from the CLAE project shared practical examples of how critical thinking is used in the subjects Norwegian, English, and social studies received very good feedback. The CLAE teachers also told what participation in the CLAE project has meant for their own professional development and teaching practice!

The conference ended with a panel debate on critical thinking in schools. Harald Birkevold, political editor at Stavanger Aftenblad, led the debate with good questions and a good portion of humor.

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