Thinking critically in the classroom: PATHS against language impoverishment at school


For a long time, the school has included the linguistic impoverishment of students among its negative aspects. And this reality is closely linked to the difficulty of reasoning, of arguing and - more generally - to the difficulty in developing independent critical thinking. To overcome this problem INDIRE has experimented A Philosophical Approach to THinking Skills – PATHS, that is a didactic model based on a philosophical approach. PATHS aims at stimulating critical reflection, starting from the various and articulated meanings that are generally attributed to the terms of ordinary language. Through four phases the model allows students to reinforce self-esteem, strengthening critical thinking, while contrasting linguistic impoverishment. This essay presents both the theoretical proposal of this innovative model and the repercussions of this didactic proposal that emerged from the experimentation in the schools involved up to now.