عنوان مقاله [English]
Some scholars including Richard Paul, Linda Elder and Ted Bartell are of the belief that the roots of "critical thinking" can be traced back to the teachings of Secretes, where he places great emphasis on the "clarity" and "logical consistency" in thinking. These scholars consider Socrates' method of questioning to be the most famous strategy in "critical thinking", the main required skills of which are cognitive skills including interpretation, analysis, evaluation, inference, explanation and self-regulation. Some of the sub-skills of these main skills include: categorization, clarifying meaning, examining ideas, identifying and analyzing arguments, assessing claims and arguments, querying evidence, drawing conclusions, stating results, presenting arguments and self-examination. There is also a dispositional dimension to critical thinking. The affective dispositions of critical thinking include two approaches: first, approaches to life and living in general, and second, approaches to specific issues, questions or problems. On the other hand, throughout years, countless studies have been conducted on the importance of puppetry in the field of children education. Inclusion of puppetry in classrooms has always had its staunch advocates. However, this does not have to be limited to puppet shows which only serve recreational purposes. These days numerous scholars stress the importance of including some educational material (either in the core curriculum of schools or as extracurricular activities) to develop critical thinking skills in children. Christopher Winch in "Education, Autonomy, and Critical Thinking" considers "the development of autonomy as an educational aim" and "the nature of application of the skill of thinking critically" to be two central topics in liberal philosophy of education. Therefore, it seems quite advisable to make good use of the most effective methods to teach children critical thinking skills to guarantee a better future for them. Schools are supposed to equip children with the knowledge and skills they need to be open-minded individuals able to think well and employ sound reasoning. One of the most effective methods to attain this goal is making effective use of puppet theatre for educational purposes. The purpose of this article is to examine which characters among Iranian puppet theatre characters can contribute to the acquisition and development of critical thinking skills in children. In order to do so, different characters are examined regarding their qualities to realize which character or characters possess qualities which characterize a good critical thinker. In the first part of the article a brief history of critical thinking -as the theoretical framework of the article- is presented and both cognitive skills and affective dispositions are introduced. This part is followed by a brief history of puppet theatre in Iran and an introduction of Iranian puppet theatre characters. Most scholars in the field of Iranian puppet theatre unanimously agree that Kheimeh shab bazi has been the most significant form of puppet theatre in Iran. However, unfortunately, the written texts of all plays in this form are not available. This is a qualitative research for which library sources and reliable internet sites have been utilized.