The aim of this work is to verify the efficacy of a training program focused on the development of critical thinking skills by use of digital texts in reading. A fundamental goal to keep in mind at school, at various levels since it concerns the exercise of critical thinking. The spread of technologies among our young people causes a considerable amount of cognitive stimuli that require decoding, giving sense and constructive processing of information; the students have to enhance skills that are not only about the use of digital tools but they must learn how to select and interpret the data, manage and evaluate information found in quantity and instantly. Reading literacy can be considered an essential starting point to improve the skills of analysis, evaluation and synthesis interested in the enhancement of digital competence. The question we want to investigate is if and how reading a digital text encourages the students’ actions of interpretation, judgment and expression of original ideas. In the first part of the project, the objective of the study is presented; research studies in this field are examined through an analysis of experiences in the area of emerging technologies in education. To explain such cognitive resources organized when student reads a text, compares and connects knowledge data and if critical thinking was deepened. Reading comprehension is compared with the critical thinking skills, interacting with creative thinking skills, provided in a specific model.In the second part the research methodology is indicated; it puts into practice the scientific findings in a training session realized with a group of children between the age of 9 and 10 years, in a primary school of Palermo. The educational activities were conducted from February to June 2015. Action learning provided a didactic environment based on individual work and on pair work; we limited the teacher’s intervention. Between the reading skills of digital texts in comparison with print-based texts we chose those exercising critical thinking such as analyzing, connecting and evaluating. We also investigated the creative thinking skills (synthesizing, elaborating on information, imagining), the problem solving skills and decision making, involved in reading comprehension. The investigation was realized with an almost-experimental system with a single recurrent group in interrupted time series. Data collection was carried out through structured tests created ad hoc with the possibility to answer freely. In the third and final part, data are discussed. Pre- and post-test performances were compared in the same group of children who participated in the enhancement activities by use of digital text in reading. The results showed an appreciable increase of the critical thinking skills and these of the creative thinking skills.
|Title of host publication||EDULEARN16 8th annual International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies|
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|
Anello, F. (2016). EXCERCISING CRITICAL THINKING THROUGH READING: AN EDUCATIONAL USE OF DIGITAL TEXTS. In EDULEARN16 8th annual International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies (pp. 1164-1174)