Developing critical thinking skills in students has proved to be elusive for Zimbabwean history teachers. Using critical theory and its strands of critical pedagogy and constructivism, this qualitative case study engrained in the interpretive paradigm investigates whether the current practices by history teachers enhance the development of critical thinking skills and then discusses how classroom practitioners can develop critical thinking in teaching. A multiple case study design was adopted to generate data using document analysis, interviews and lessons observations. The sample, chosen for detailed study through purposive sampling, included three history teachers from three secondary schools in the Gweru Urban District in the Midlands province of Zimbabwe. Evidence from the study reveals that history teachers continue to use teacher-centred methods of teaching, textbooks as the only resource, poor questioning techniques, and traditional assessment procedures that do not promote the development of critical thinking skills. It is recommended that history teaching must focus on the development of critical thinking skills rather than on the mastery of content for sustainable development to happen as dictated by the demands of the 21st century. To support that, the study proposes a transformative-interactive model to enhance the development of critical thinking skills. The research concludes that critical thinking skills do not happen arbitrarily but are developed. This study extends scholarship on history teaching by challenging and encouraging teachers to reflect on their role in the teaching of history to transform them into the designers of, and researchers of, curriculum methodology.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.