We are excited to announce that registration has now opened for Inspire Critical Thinking 2023/24. This year’s theme is: 'Does crime always deserve punishment?'

Inspire Critical Thinking is open to all non-selective state school students across the UK in Years 9, 10 and 11. There are no eligibility criteria to sign up and the programme is completely free. Last year, we had over 1000 students from across the UK take part in our programme, and this year we are inviting even more Critical Thinkers to join in! The course takes place on our website, Inspire Digital.

Inspire Critical Thinking

What is Inspire Critical Thinking?

Inspire Critical Thinking is a free online course run by St John’s College in collaboration with Oxford for South East.

It is made up of four workshops, released between January and April 2024. The aim of Inspire Critical Thinking is to develop students’ ability to think critically about the world around them by encouraging them to advance their analytical, reflective, and creative abilities, all while having fun and learning more about the world around them. The course focuses on a central theme that is approached from a variety of subject viewpoints, and each virtual workshop includes articles, interviews, recorded lectures, and challenges developed by University of Oxford academics and students.

By taking part in the programme, students will have the opportunity to explore their interests in depth and discover new and exciting topics which they might not have studied before. Students will also have the chance to submit responses to a variety of challenges to be in with a chance of winning prizes! This year’s Inspire Critical Thinking includes a range of exciting and engaging resources, with articles ranging from AI and crime to the use of DNA in evidence. We also include interviews with current researchers and Oxford students, and further links to help students hone their critical thinking skills and develop their CVs.

There are four interactive elements to the workshops:

  1. Vote now! A quick and easy way to share your initial view on an issue arising from an article. Will your view change?
  2. Think piece – several questions for you to consider and discuss with friends and family.
  3. Have your say! Write your response to key questions and engage in a moderated discussion forum with peers from across the UK.
  4. Super challenge – these are written tasks that require a bit more thinking. Students can select one super challenge to complete for each workshop and submit their work to inspire@sjc.ox.ac.uk for a chance to win a prize!

Following the online classes, all registered students will be invited to attend our Inspire Virtual Summer School. For students in Year 11 from our link regions (Ealing, Harrow, East Sussex, West Sussex, Brighton & Hove, and Southampton), there is also a competitive application process for a free Inspire Residential Summer School at St John’s College. Applications for this will be assessed on engagement with the super challenges and socio-economic eligibility. You can find out more about the summer schools here.

Register now!

Registration for Inspire Critical Thinking closes on 13 December 2023. Confirmation emails will be sent after that date.