What Is Critical Thinking:
The Future of Jobs Report released by the World Economic Forum in 2018 says that the top skill for making ourselves 21st Century ready is Critical Thinking. It also happens to be the 2nd top skill that the job market will need in 2020. So, what is Critical Thinking?
Critical thinking is the art of reevaluating and reconsidering the information we know via reading, hearing, seeing and believing and thinking we know. Because humans are moral and ethical creatures, we prefer evidence and rational reasoning over blindly accepting long standing beliefs and dogma.
Critical thinking has many aspects of examination and analysis. When we think critically about the problem at hand, we make an attempt to understand the context, think deeply with logic, and are able to make decisions to enable positive outcomes.
The best part about critical thinking is that it is a learned skill. Here are the important factors that enable critical thinking.
a. Question everything including your own and other’s assumptions.
b. Understand facts and draw effective conclusions not based on opinions.
c. Don’t engage in Groupthink. Ask for help and seek feedback, but fall back on your own personal accountability for consequences.
How To Foster Critical Thinking:
Critical thinking in action looks like this. It is active listening, questioning assumptions and asking the right questions. Questions are of two kinds. Lower order questions just need a Yes, no or a simple definitive answer. But higher order questions like open ended questions when asked ignite our critical thinking brains. Such questions allow us to work our way to multiple possible solutions instead of just one “correct” answer.
This is how we can develop our children as the next generation of 21st Century Critical Thinkers:
- We place them in social conversations, settings and experiences that foster critical thinking.
- We encourage them to be open minded towards new learning environments.
- We help them engage in reflective and divergent thinking.
- We ask them to question the information that’s being read, heard or seen.
- We help them see facts to judge the value of ideas and solutions.
- We foster group engagement by using diverse ideas and points of views to solve problems.
- We encourage them to analyze, evaluate and reason with different options.
Critical Thinking In The Education System:
Children learn well when they are in environments that challenge their creative and critical thinking. For superior cognitive performance, their brains need exercise. That’s why we, at FutureSTRONG Academy, have lesson plans that foster opportunities and experiences for learning that are tailored to your child’s growing social and emotional milestones. After all, the brain is the most important resource in the 21st century and attention is its most important currency.
At FutureSTRONG Academy, our classes have learning objectives which are delivered in the form of Interactive Questions, Poems, Stories, Brain Breaks, Group Challenges, Critical Thinking Exercises. We believe that human potential has two aspects, a skill set for professional excellence – aptitude, and a tool kit for personal excellence – the right attitude needed to face real life, something that the curriculum at FutureSTRONG Academy equips our children with.
At FutureSTRONG Academy, we use these techniques to help children think critically about problems facing our world today. Instead of asking them the usual what, we ask them the reasons behind their answers to the What questions. By making them connect their thinking to something personal and relevant to their lives, we make learning fun and interesting instead of just challenging.
Critical Thinking In Our Daily Lives:
Let’s take this example of how we parent our children. If we in the Digital-age were to continue parenting our children like how we were many decades us when we didn’t have an online life aspect to our lives, pretty soon we will become irrelevant and our children will stop thriving. This is an example of how the information we receive and the environment we are in is not in sync with our parenting beliefs and actions.
It’s time to start thinking out of the box and making some inquiry and rational based arguments with our mental habit loops. Let’s start looking at life through new and conflicting perspectives. We can do this through reading books or experiencing unfamiliar environments, and involving in personal growth activities.
Start your critical thinking journey here. Question all the information you come across with these questions:
- Is it complete?
- Is it accurate?
- Is the info current?
- Is this subjective or is it fact?
- Is it propaganda or an advertising pitch
- Is it the whole picture.
- What is the source of this info?
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About The Article Author:
I see myself as an advocate for bringing social, emotional and character development to families, schools and communities. I never want to let this idea out of my sight – Our children are not just GPAs. I’m a Writer and a Certified Master Coach in NLP and CBT. Until 2017, I was also a Big Data Scientist. In December of 2044, I hope to win the Nobel. Namasté.
Write to me or call me. Tell me what support from me looks like.
Program Director & Essential Life Skills Coach for Kids and Busy Parents
Inside The Ideal 21st Century Classroom
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