The University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), organised a workshop for the teaching staff on Tuesday, 1st March, 2022, themed ‘Capacity Building for Developing Students’ Critical Thinking Skills’. The workshop aimed at building on the capacity of teaching staff on ways to apply critical thinking techniques in teaching to inculcate in students, skills to enhance their academic and cognitive abilities.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof Richard K. Amankwah in his opening remarks stressed the need for the introduction of Critical Thinking as a course in the University to equip students with the requisite knowledge to solve problems through innovative ways. “This will enrich our engagements and make teaching and learning better”, he added.
Vice Chancellor, Prof Richard K. Amankwah
Assoc Prof Christine Adu Yeboah, Director, Institute of Higher Education, University of Cape Coast (UCC), and Lead Resource Person said that the findings of a research project undertaken in 2015 on the topic: ‘Pedagogies for Critical Thinking: Implications of Project Findings for Higher Education Policies and Practices in Ghana, Kenya and Botswana’ fueled the initiative to organise the workshop.
According to the Lead Resource Person, the objectives of the research project was to expand the pedagogical innovation of teaching staff, examine how pedagogical practices affect student critical thinking ability and to evaluate how universities approach and manage the complicated process of pedagogical change.
Assoc Prof Christine Adu Yeboah, Director, Institute of Higher Education, University of Cape Coast (UCC), and Lead Resource Person
Rev Dr Richard Ansah, Senior Lecturer, Department of Classics and Philosophy, UCC, stated that acquisition of analytic mindset, great communication skills, creativity, open-mindedness and ability to solve problems are thematic areas through which one can acquire critical thinking skills.
Miss Modestha Mensah, Lecturer, Department of Classics and Philosophy, UCC, said that critical thinking will help both lecturers and students to assess information better, reason logically and analytically, to draw informed judgments and conclusions. She noted that Critical Thinking further improves the writing and communication skills of learners.
The seminar was climaxed with discussions on three themes, namely; pedagogies of critical thinking, developing critical thinking skills in students, and teaching strategies and assessment techniques.
Resource Persons for the workshop were: Prof Christine Adu-Yeboah, Director, Institute of Education, Dr Christopher Yaw Kwaah, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Education, Rev Dr Richard Ansah, Senior Lecturer, Department of Classics and Philosophy, Miss Modestha Mensah, Department of Classics and Philosophy and Dr Anthony Koomson, Lecturer, Department of Science Education, all from the University of Cape Coast (UCC).
Participants expressed their satisfaction with the workshop and underscored the need to employ various teaching strategies and assessment techniques to create critical thinkers.
Prior to this workshop, some selected teaching staff from UMaT were invited by the Institute of Education, University College London (UCL), to participate in a two-day workshop on; ‘Building Capacity for Critical Thinking Enhancement in African Higher Education’, in May 2021, to discuss pedagogical innovations that could be adopted by lecturers to help develop critical thinking skills in students.
The selected teaching staff were; Assoc Prof Issaka Yakubu, Dean, School of Railways and Infrastructure Development (SRID), Essikado, Assoc Prof Solomon Nunoo, Dean, Office of Research, Innovation and Consultancy (ORIC), Dr Cecilia Addei, Head, Department of Technical Communication, Dr Yao Yevenyo Ziggah, Training Officer, Department of Geomatic Engineering and Dr Solomon Asante-Kyere, Training Officer, Department of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering.
Source: University Relations Office