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2015 | 9(53) | 390-397

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Heuristic questions as a basis for critical thinking

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The article deals with the problem of forming students’ critical thinking skills during their independent cognitive and creative activity using heuristic questions. A wide range of heuristic tools, strategies and methods of teaching students’ inquiring activity in the process of solving heuristic test tasks, namely B. Bloom’s typology of questions, a routine for generating and transforming questions (Creative Questions), the guide of critical thinking (Guiding Critical Thinking) and the method of “internal dialogue”are investigated. The basic principles of heuristic questions which contribute to the development of critical thinking are taken into account. To them belong: a) the principle of problem setting and reaching the optimal level of its understanding (skilfully asked questions can simplify a problem task to the optimal level); b) the principle of the information fragmentation (heuristic questions can divide a complex problem task into several easier subtasks); c) the principle of goal setting (each heuristic question forms a new strategy the purpose of further investigation). With the help of heuristic questions the objects of cognition (for example, innovative learning and teaching technologies, innovations in high technology, etc.) are investigated by students from different angles, they are compared with other items, analyzed in more details. Students can evaluate advantages and disadvantages of the objects and study prospects of their further development. While answering thoughtful questions, students outline the range of unknown information and gradually fill it with important for them knowledge, find an original way of heuristic test task solving and as a result, create an original meaningful educational product of high quality. The pedagogical experiment on the use of strategies and methods of forming heuristic question skills during students’ independent cognitive and creative activity in humanities proved that the quality of their creative products (scientific articles and abstracts, professionally orientated oral presentations, diploma papers, etc.) doubled.



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