Without even realising it, we use critical thinking skills every day. In fact, these important skills are used in everything from problem solving, following through on goals, and 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 cultivating critical thinking skills perform better in school, are more creative and are better at making good judgments. Here’s some ways to encourage your students to build their critical thinking skills and why they’re so important.
Encourage your child’s curiosities 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, usually they’re more engaged and willing to experiment. The process of expanding their knowledge brings lots of opportunity 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 have 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 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.