FOSTERING STUDENTS’ CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS IN ELEMENTARY SOCIAL STUDIES USING SOCRATES QUESTION METHOD (SQM)
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In instructional activities, critical thinking can assist students in improving their understanding of the materials studied by critically evaluating arguments in textbooks, journals, peer discussion, and teachers’ comments. Critical thinking is one of the high-level thought processes that can be used in the formation of students' conceptual system. By thinking critically, students can develop a meaningful experience, written and oral. To develop students’ critical thinking, instructional activities can conduct a Socratic Question Method. This method is able to improve critical thinking skill in any subject materials, including social studies. Social studies designed to develop knowledge, understanding, and analysis capabilities of the social conditions in entering a dynamic social life. To achieve these learning objectives, teacher should be acknowledging with effective learning strategies that can encourage students’ potential and the ability. Students who able to think critically would have better understanding the condition they live in. This paper aims to give clear description of how the Socratic Question method should be conducted in elementary social studies instructions. The step of this method are: 1) Dialectic, it means the method is carried out by two or more persons as pros and cons, or which have a difference of opinion; 2) Conversation, it means that the method is done in the form of a conversation or verbal communication; 3) Tentative, meaning the truth is sought temporary is not absolute, and the alternatives are open to all possibilities; 3) Empirical and inductive, means that all matters discussed and how the solution must be based on empirical matters; 4) Conceptual, means that methods aimed at the achievement of knowledge, understanding and concepts which better than before.