Sharpening Critical Thinking in Design Problem Selection in Design Project: A Perspective Based on Singapore Design and Technology

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Abstract

The current study aimed to identify and clarify students’ critical thinking processes when choosing a design problem within the problem identification process when engaging in a design project. Using design journals done by students at upper secondary level in a Singapore secondary school, the study broke down students’ critical thinking processes based on various elements of reasoning to assess the quality of reasoning. From this study the following conclusion may be suggested. Firstly, the use of decision-making tools, such as decision matrix, does not necessary enable students to achieve quality reasoning. To enhance quality reasoning when choosing a problem, a more systematic process of information or evidence gathering is necessary. To facilitate purposeful gathering of information or evidence, the selection criteria for choosing a problem should be formed before students are engaged into problem exploration. In this way, it may sharpen students search for information to understand the problem better, which in turn sharpen decision-making in choosing a problem. In addition, when forming selection criteria, it is suggested that students should focus on factors such as ethical, significance, reasonability, relevance, emotions and achievability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-28
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Technology and Engineering Education
Volume51
Issue number1/2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

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