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Developing creativity and critical thinking with hands-on experimental activities

Assoc. prof. Alexander Kazachkov, PhD.
V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University,
Department of General Physics
Svobody sq. 4, 610 22 Kharkiv, Ukraine

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Abstract:
Development of students’ creativity and critical thinking is among the priorities of modern education. A presented series of low budget experimental activities is focused on the transition from the involving hands-on activities to the creative and instructive minds-on projects. Reported examples of class demonstrations/labworks and students’ educational research have been practiced in various academic environments with a lot of positive feedback. Although included experiments are technically in the frames of the university Introductory Physics course and courses of Physics at basic and high school, their analysis often involves and improves knowledge of Mathematics, Biology, Physiology, Chemistry, Engineering Design, skills in logics, arts and team work. For every observed phenomenon the model is looked for and suggested. The check/proof of the model and comprehension of its predictions is the key point of those creative activities. Solutions of many the presented experimental problems are definitely counter-intuitive, which supports the improvement of critical thinking of the students. Computer multimedia, including video-measurements, is used wherever appropriate. Open-ended by nature, reported activities leave place and imply for their further development by the practicing teachers and students, examples given all through the presentation.

Keywords:
hands-on and minds-on educational experiments, multi-disciplinary students projects, efficiency of education, development of critical thinking, development of creativity

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