Enhancing Curiosity and Empathy through Critical Thinking Skills

Monday 13 May | Tuesday 14 May | Wednesday 15 May | Thursday 16 May | Friday 17 May

Monday 13 May

Enhancing Curiosity and Empathy through Critical Thinking Skills,
Ms. Xiana Sotelo, Francisco de Vitoria University (UFV), Spain
Place: Room F304

Time: 13.00 – 14.30
Description: In a complex, globalized world, how to make sure that critical thinking skills in the Language classroom (ESP Subjects) go hand in hand with other transversal competences such as intercultural awareness, ethics and social responsibility? To try to answer this question, from the Language department and Communication Faculty of Francisco de Vitoria university, in conjunction with the Complutense university Research group SIIM- Studies on Intermediality and Intercultural Mediation, https://www.ucm.es/siim/, we are currently implementing an interdisciplinary research & educational innovation project to help the European Commission to articulate a New Narrative for Europe , a project aimed at bringing Europe closer to its citizens, especially young people (https://europa.eu/youth/have-your-say/new-narrative-for-europe_en). Our main objective is to actively engage Spanish university students to visually narrate their state of mind and feelings about what European identity and values means to them, while developing critical thinking skills (see https://www.ucm.es/siim/new-narratives-for-europe). In the first part of the presentation, SIIM-UFV New Narrative for Europe Project will be mapped out and a basic framework for critical thinking skills in the Language classroom will be provided. In a second part, two activities will be presented through a hands-on approach. The audience will be asked to contribute with their ideas and feedback on both the instructions and the assessment of the activities. Each activity will work one sub-skill of Critical Thinking in the following manner: the first activity will be an infographic (approached as an example of Strategic storytelling) which will focus on the development of contrasted opinion based on facts and reliable sources, and the second activity will consist of short 3-5 min videos (approached as an example of transmedia narratives) which will focus on the development of problem-solving skills following Design-Thinking/ DesignforChange Methodology (see https://www.ucm.es/siim/transmedia-social-intervention). Apart from improving students’ writing and speaking skills in English while developing critical thinking skills, emphasis will be placed on language structures as a vehicle to enhance life-long curiosity and emphathy in students.