This paper will propose a method for developing critical thinking skills and the ability to think from multiple perspectives using elementary school class discussion activities about controversial social issues.
For students who live in a changing society, it is important to develop not only judgment abilities but also the ability to think from multiple perspectives about social issues. To help students develop these skills, this research found that teachers need to do the following :
・Start each unit in a way that makes students want to discuss the social issue. For example, introduce two researchers with different opinions.
・Before the discussion, provide various materials to the students for thinking from multiple perspectives, and give enough time for students to research and think.
・During the discussion, advise students to change the perspective underlying their ideas so that each of them can think from multiple perspectives.
・During the discussion, provide thinking tools that help students think from multiple perspectives. For example, provide the Pluses, Minuses and Interesting (PMI) chart. (Advise students to use the PMI chart to evaluate an issue, compare advantages and disadvantages, and make decisions. )
・During the discussion, if the students persist in their opinions, present new materials so that students want to reconsider the social issue from another perspective.