Our generation is full of computers and smartphones. Consumers need to think wisely before they do anything in such environments. We discussed how cyber safety is important for school-going kids. Also, how computational thinking can improve a kid’s thinking skills. In this edition, let’s discuss critical thinking! Let’s see how to develop critical thinking skills in students.
Do you know in which situation is the person applying critical thinking skills? The answer is quite obvious, EVERYWHERE!
Keep reading till the end…
In this blog, we’re going to discuss how to develop critical thinking skills, their importance, and how we can help kids develop this skill, and critical thinking skills examples.
What is Critical Thinking?
Here’s what criticalthinking.org has stated:
Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.
In short, critical thinking is the way of thinking actively and skillfully, and processing or applying the information gathered by observation, communication, or experience. It asks for a reason for what we believe.
But why should your kid have critical thinking skills?
Let’s look into the benefits of having this thinking skill…
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Benefits of Critical Thinking Skills
1. Boosts Social Image and Decision Making
The importance of critical thinking in its truest form is to develop a person’s mind and become a better version of themself. When someone thinks more analytically, decisions become more sound. Thus, it puts the person in a respected place in society. This skill applies to all areas of our society.
For example, if you are an administrator of a city, you will have to come up with many ideas. Ideas on how to improve law and order, boost people’s participation, etc. And these decisions cannot be made based on trial and error.
To make better decisions, you will have to think critically, analyze data, and create a goal-driven action plan. And using the right skillset in such situations will make you create better decisions and ultimately, boost your social image.
“Critical thinking is a type of thinking pattern that requires people to be reflective, and pay attention to decision-making which guides their beliefs and actions.”
Source – Thinking and Reasoning in Human Decision Making, Facione and Facione
2. Critical Thinking is used Universally
Thinking skills are very crucial to living in a world full of technology. Nowadays, everything is available on the internet. If you want something, you just need to search. You need to think more than computers.
You think of any field. Thinking skills are crucial for you to excel in that particular field. For a student, this will help in their studies.
Suppose you are solving a maths problem, and you are stuck in between. What others will do is show the problem to their teachers. But a critical thinker will stick to that problem and come up with his approach, and solve it.
A coder will find many bugs in a program, but what keeps the coder going is his/her thinking skills. Solving bugs by analyzing the root of the problem is what keeps them ahead of the game.
Likewise, this skill will always give a person an advantage in any field they are working on. Thinking outside the box is what makes them different.
3. Centered around Conscience
“Never memorize something that you can look up.”
– Albert Einstein
Here’s the thing…
A person with a good mind does not mean that he can memorize things quickly. What Einstein means by the above quote is that you should use your brain to do more complex tasks rather than memorizing. That is, emphasize more on ideating, innovating, and creating.
This takes us to the concept that critical thinking deeply involves conscience. It is like training your mind so that it becomes able to do how things should be done.
Critical thinkers’ brains are more active which is why they can make decisions, solve problems easily more efficiently.
Here’s our podcast about Critical Thinking for Kids. You can also listen to it.
4. Boosts Academic Succes
As parents, you might be stressed about your kid’s studies. And this is the case with most of the parents. But if your kid is a critical thinker, you won’t have to worry much.
Kids will always have an out-of-the-box approach to every problem they face. And their approach will be more efficient than any other traditional approach. Also, you will see the effect on their academics. They will excel in any field with this skill.
How to improve critical thinking skills? Here’s what you can do…
- Critical thinking skills can be applied to reading. Ask your kids to do a book review.
- Tell them a statement and ask their opinions about right and wrong.
- Tell them a fact and ask them to verify whether it’s true or not.
- Ask them to solve a Rubik’s cube
- Teach them Coding.
5. Enhances Problem Solving and Creativity
Someone who can think more rationally will solve problems easily. Critical thinking makes a person rational. It makes them able to understand and analyze problem statements deeply.
It improves reasoning skills and makes a person more creative while they think. They use knowledge, facts, and data to solve problems. Thus, once a person identifies a problem, they can use thinking skills to assess it and come to a solution.
Also, it makes an individual more open-minded. Which in turn, fosters creativity. Thus, students get exposed to new ideas and create better things than others.
6. Asks for Self-awareness
Becoming self-aware in this distracted world can take you places. When you give more importance to what you think, it improves your mental health. You take less stress, anxiety levels go down, help you focus on your tasks, and much more.
In this world full of technology, one can easily get distracted. But if you know how to react to the situations you come across, you will be able to focus more.
But this can only be done when you have a proper direction. And it can only be achieved when you have a directed approach to what you do. Becoming self-aware is one of the important goals of critical thinking.
7. Critical Thinking fosters Reasoning
This is a skill that will help you reason your beliefs. A person will start thinking logically about how and why things work. Critical thinkers know that it is every individual’s need to think with logic.
With the help of data and evidence along with reasoning, these people think and speak logically to support an argument.
Logic is the art of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of human misunderstanding.
– Ambrose Bierce
To conclude, critical thinking is a mixture of skills like problem-solving, decision making, rational thinking, reasoning, knowledge, intelligence, etc.
8. Helps in Finding a Job
Nowadays, most of the job descriptions ask for critical thinking skills in the candidates. They emphasize more on this skill because it combines so many together.
Critical thinkers are more competent, focused, logical. They can easily identify mistakes, evaluate, and improve them. Solving complex problems are easier for them.
For a fresher, these skills give them an advantage in the placements for the jobs they desire. Companies will like them because of their curiosity to know more, ask questions, and scrutinize problem statements.
9. Important Life Skill
Critical thinking is indeed a skill for life. All the points that we discussed above improve your overall mental growth. It helps in academics, jobs, and businesses. A person becomes well-aware of their surrounding, become better decision-makers, problem solvers, and whatnot.
So, it helps an individual in every sphere of life. And they can always use this skill to upscale their inherent skills and abilities. Thus, improving your thinking skills will help you progress in any direction you go in your life.
Developing this skill is a journey that will never end, and there is always more and more to learn.