Boosting EFL Learners Critical Thinking through Guided Discovery: a Classroom-Oriented Research on First-Year Master Students

Author: Wahida Yaiche

Keywords: Classroom-oriented research, critical thinking, EFL learners’ at Naama University Center, discovery learning, guided discovery, reflection

DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol12no1.6

Critical thinking is widely recognized as a necessary skill for growth and intellectual development due to a variety of factors, including globalization, the revolution of information technology, modernity, and connectivity. EFL teachers can lay the groundwork for their students to attain critical thinking through various methods, models, and strategies. The present investigation suggests that the teacher could promote EFL learners’ critical thinking through guided discovery model of instruction. Henceforth, the current paper endeavors to enlighten the adequacy of applying guided discovery for developing learners’ critical thinking skills. It is an experimental research that investigates: how may guided discovery contribute to the development of EFL learners’ critical thinking? It attempts to examine the utility of discovery learning in teaching students how to process and think critically about the education they receive where information has become readily available and accessible. To this aim, 40 EFL Master students who took educational psychology courses were nominated from the university center of Naama, Algeria. The researcher selected Peter Honey Critical Thinking test and focus group discussions to attain data on students’ critical thinking skills. The test results demonstrated that the experimental group outperformed the control group. The students become more autonomous, reflect on their learning experiences, and identify the most useful strategies. Furthermore, the analysis of focus group interviewsrevealed that the experimental group participants hold positive attitudes toward discovery learning. They perceive it as a precious method that can enhance their awareness about the value of thinking critically.