Teaching Students to Think Critically
- 3m guru
- Oct 7, 2021
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Critical thinking is crucial not just for learning, but for life overall. Hence elements of critical thinking need to be taught outright, rather than assumed to come along the way when teachers run through complex subjects with students. To make this happen, all teachers should prioritize critical thinking activities along with the subject content. Students should be made to involve in informative reading and evidence based writing to construct arguments which can be tested for relevance and validity. They should also be encouraged to use informal logic to contrast mathematical proofs and scientific models to widen their horizons in order to move from aspirations to progress in developing their critical thinking ability.
It is believed that becoming a skilled critical thinker requires the same amount of practice required to become a highly skilled athlete or musician. Hence teachers apart from providing opportunities to put them to use should also inspire students to continue practicing those skills in their own academic interests and all areas of life. Inspired students can apply the critical-thinking skills they learn in class to improve their grades and make better decisions in life, reinforcing their values and making it a regular practice.
Embracing the culture of critical thinking does not require overhauling education, eliminating courses or even asking students to sacrifice approaches they have developed and used successfully. It simply involves adding new tools to their arsenal that allow them to accomplish what they desire: develop the skills needed to think critically about the world.
The number of critical-thinking topics students need to understand is relatively small, compared to the much larger body of content that students need to master in academics. For students to develop as critical thinkers, however, they must put that knowledge to work through deliberate practice that specifically focuses on development of critical-thinking skills. That can be accomplished through carefully designed activities and assignments that provide students opportunities to practice applying critical-thinking principles to answer questions and solve problems specific to subject interests.