Critical thinking is the ability to think about problems in-depth and find solutions while also evaluating information rationally. It's an essential skill for everyone, but especially for students who need to apply critical thinking in their classes, during exams, and in their everyday life. Critical thinkers can analyze different viewpoints and determine which one is best supported by evidence. They can see through logical fallacies and question the source of information. Critical thinking also helps people to become more open-minded, allowing them to consider all sides of an argument without automatically dismissing anything that differs from their opinions.
In this blog post, we will talk about why critical thinking skills are essential for students.
Why are critical thinking skills an essential part of learning?
In today’s world where we have an influx of information and news, it is vital for students to exercise their critical thinking. In particular, mainstream and social media are playing a huge role in people’s life as a source of information. Students need to be constantly reminded to question the information. They need to be taught by their teachers and parents how to research, analyze, validate and draw their own conclusions from gained information. By doing so, they learn how to properly evaluate information within various contexts, and work collaboratively with others while considering different perspectives. It is important that they become curious and independent thinkers. By developing critical thinking skills, students not only improve their understanding of consumed information but also their independence, creativity, and problem-solving mindset. When talking about critical thinking, we also need to be aware that critical thinking varies based on the domain. According to education expert, Daniel Willingham – an education expert and Professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia, in history, students need to learn the skills for evaluating documents by considering their historical context, intended purpose and audience, and how they compare to other documents. This approach would be pointless in science, where critical thinking is applied by conducting experiments and following the scientific method. So while the use of critical thinking varies based on the domain, it is not limited to a specific subject and elevates an autonomous learning. Instead of complete dependence on classroom learning and teachers for complete guidance and instructions, critical thinking allows students to become more independent learners. This will give a great boost to any career that the student chooses.
How to improve the Students critical thinking skills
Tips for parents
Considering that lately, online school has become the norm, it is paramount to understand ways to help children develop critical thinking. After all, it is responsibility of parents and teachers to ensure that children have a good grasp of the concepts they learn and not just another degree.
Consider your child's thought process and compare it to yours
Challenge your kids to think for themselves, don't fall into the pattern of what society has laid out for them.
Help them learn to communicate their thought processes, and not just explain their point of view. This is important as it helps in encouraging better debate. It also allows them to be open-minded when they are challenged on their viewpoints
Help children develop deeper hypotheses that challenge their thinking and creativity
Teach them to identify and weigh out the pros and cons of an argument from their co-students
Urge your children to draw the conclusion using the researched facts
Prepare for your child’s problem-solving activities, and motivate the child to solve problems while listening their explanation
Life is all about thinking. The more we think, the better our lives become. We need to know how to analyze a given situation and develop a solution that works for us. This is why we need to encourage children's critical thinking during their early development stages.