Without even realising it, we use critical thinking skills every day. In fact, these important skills are used in everything from problem-solving and following through on goals to making informed decisions. The earlier the foundation of critical thinking is built, the sooner children can make sense of information through analysis and thinking.
It’s even been found that kids that have an early start in cultivating critical thinking skills perform better in school, are more creative, and are better at making good judgments. In this article, we’ll explore the importance of developing these skills and give you pointers on how to encourage your child to think critically.
What is Critical Thinking?
Critical thinking allows your brain to be loaded with skills that help you to make sense of the world around you. From managing work tasks to planning meals, critical thinking plays a vital role in making sensible choices throughout the day every day. These skills help us to weigh up the pros and cons of a situation, gather relevant information, and think about possible consequences. Critical thinking and executive functioning skills complement one another to enhance problem-solving skills and cognitive abilities.
Why is it Important For Students to Develop Their Critical Thinking Skills?
The importance of critical thinking for students is huge. These essential life skills help them to become smarter problem solvers and make wiser decisions. When kids learn how to think critically, they ask questions, understand things better, and figure out how to solve problems on their own. Critical thinking also encourages curiosity and helps to foster independent learning. It’s a skill that will continue to grow and develop as they get older, helping them to adapt to new situations and problems while they are at school and for the rest of their lives.
Ways to Encourage Your Child to Think Critically
Encourage your child’s curiosity by getting them to explore, ask questions, test their theories, think critically about results, and ask them about changes they could make or things they could do differently. This encourages deep thinking, providing room for exploration and creative analysis.
Help kids evaluate information
Developing a critical mindset is becoming one of the most important skills in our information-saturated world. Teaching your kids how to evaluate information and how to think critically while analysing the world around them will not only help them become successful but will protect them too. Get them to think about where or who the information is coming from, how it relates to what they know already and why it is or isn’t important.
When students are interested in something, they are usually more engaged and willing to experiment. The process of expanding their knowledge brings lots of opportunities to cultivate their critical thinking skills as well as find new hobbies and interests. Make sure you’re providing plenty of opportunities for your kids to explore the things that bring them joy or excite them.
The 5 Intellectual Standards
The Foundation for Critical Thinking has developed five ‘Intellectual Standards’, which are ways you can encourage your children to learn to think more critically.
1. Be Clear
Ask your children to BE CLEAR by asking for explanations and examples if they don’t understand something. It’s also important to let them know it’s okay to be confused and need to ask questions.
2. Be Accurate
Encourage your kids to BE ACCURATE. It’s always a good idea for them to check to see if something is true by researching the facts.
3. Be Relevant
Encourage children to BE RELEVANT by discussing other topics that relate to the discussion or problem at hand. Help them stay on track by linking related and meaningful information to the question they are trying to answer or the topic they’re learning about.
4. Be Logical
Support your child’s ability to BE LOGICAL. Help them understand how things fit together or the logic behind a situation. Don’t be afraid to question how they arrive at certain conclusions and whether their assumptions are correct.
5. Be Fair
It’s crucial to set expectations that your child should always BE FAIR. Promote empathy in their thinking processes, making sure they consider others when coming to a decision.
Is Critical Thinking a Skill a Tutor Can Help With?
Absolutely! Tutors can play a crucial role in helping your child to develop their critical thinking skills. From getting your child involved in interactive discussions to asking thought-provoking questions, there are many ways a tutor can help to nurture and encourage these skills. They can also teach your child effective strategies for solving problems independently, analysing information, and evaluating arguments. By working closely with a tutor, your child will develop sharper critical thinking abilities that will serve them well in the classroom, during exams, and beyond.
If you are interested in finding out more about private one-to-one tutoring, and how a tutor can help your child to develop their critical thinking skills, we’d love to help. Find a tutor near you to get started.