AICE Students Using Their Heads in Critical Thinking

AICE Critical Thinking Skills is a new addition to the AICE program this year.


This is the second year that Santaluces has been participating in the Cambridge AICE (Advanced International Certificate of Education) Diploma program – an advanced academic curriculum. This year, students have even more choices, especially those who are working toward the goal of receiving an AICE diploma. AICE General Paper and Marine Science, were introduced last year. This year, AICE classes have more than doubled, with AICE English Language, AICE Art and AICE Computing added. AICE Critical Thinking Skills AS is also a new addition to the program.

An AICE diploma opens the doors to different scholarships, and according to Cambridge, many universities accept these credits as college credits. In order to receive this diploma, students must pass exams worth a total of six credits in math and science, languages, and arts and humanities.

AICE General Paper and Critical Thinking Skills teacher, Mrs. Finn, says that AICE Critical Thinking Skills is a course that focuses on two main elements of critical thinking. For the problem solving part of the course,  (taught by science teacher Mrs. Dougherty), students use math and science to solve problems; while the thinking skills (taught by Mrs. Finn), focuses on how to analyze, deconstruct, and write argument statements.

“The primary goal of every accelerated level course is for the students to take and pass their exam so they can earn college credit,” said Mrs. Finn. “However, the specific goal of this course is to teach students how to look at the world around them and be able to understand the problems that face them so that they can solve those problems.”

Because this class is being offered for the first time, only a small group of students who previously took AICE General Paper are taking it this year.

“The class is very challenging and difficult,” said junior Tiffany Elias. “But a class like this is useful. It forces you to explain yourself, see different perspectives of situations, and makes you think way outside of the box.”

It is recommended that students interested in taking this course take AICE General Paper first due to the language of the test. Having prior experience with the format of  the AICE questions makes the course easier and more manageable for the students.

“If all goes well, this class will be offered next year,” said Mrs. Finn. “So far Mrs. Dougherty and I are really enjoying teaching our respective section, but we won’t know for sure until spring. We are crossing our fingers!”