Critical thinking can be defined as the ability to clearly and rationally think, and to understand the logical connection between different concepts and ideas. In fact, it is the ability to develop independent and reflective thinking.
Critical thinking involves the use of the ability to reason. Its essence is to actively learn, and not just be a passive recipient of information. If you want to develop your creative thinking, learn how you can do it from this critical thinking essay.
People who have developed critical thinking often put ideas and facts into question rather than accept them in the original version. They also try to find out whether their ideas, arguments, and conclusions are consistent with the overall value system, while maintaining openness to objections and discussions.
Characteristics of a person with developed critical thinking
- Understands the causal relationship between the facts and the ideas of the surrounding reality
- Can determine the importance of arguments and ideas
- Recognizes and evaluates other points of view, builds valid arguments
- Can identify inconsistencies and errors in the course of reasoning
- Tries to solve the arising problems consistently and systematically
- Reflects on the justification of one’s own beliefs, thoughts, and values
Critical thinking is a good tool for making optimal decisions. Nevertheless, there is no need to use it constantly, in every life situation. Not all the decisions that you make every day require you to think critically. In many cases, instead of a critical approach, it is better to use intuition, this will allow you to save time and psychological resources. Learn more about how it works in this critical thinking essay.
Why is critical thinking necessary?
- It helps in professional self-determination
- It allows you to set priorities
- It forms responsibility for the choice
- It allows you to formulate your own conclusions
- It develops the ability to predict the consequences of the actions
- It develops skills of cultural dialogue
How can critical thinking be stimulated?
- Do not take facts as they are. The first step for the development of critical thinking is the evaluation of information that comes to you from outside. Before you do what you have always done or take on faith what you were told, reflect on the situation. Think about what the problem is, and what are the possible ways to solve it. Of course, you decide on your own, what to believe, and what not to believe. But if you give some time to assessing the situation, most likely, you will be able to make more informed and decisions.
- Define your goals. What result do you expect? What would you like to receive? What is your goal? Determining the goal that you intend to achieve is important for building a plan for your actions and steps towards the implementation of your plans.
- Investigate the facts. A huge amount of information every day comes to you from various sources. It should be borne in mind that this information can become a very powerful tool at the time of decision-making. When you have a problem that requires analysis, a perspective that needs to be assessed, or you have to make an important decision, search for information on the internet, investigate the facts, read publications on this topic. Analyze different opinions, arguments, and discussions. Find out if there is conflicting information. The more information you have, the better you will be prepared to give a reasonable answer.
- Do not always think that you are right. It’s always nice to realize that you are right. We all enjoy it. But if you initially have an attitude that your arguments are valid and are the only true ones, then you refuse acquaintance and consideration of other points of view. Your thoughts, beliefs, and arguments are only one possible explanation, but there are many other alternative views that are also true. Open your mind to review and evaluate other points of view.
- Start with the simplest. There is a line of thinking that is often used in scientific research to find out which of the hypotheses is correct. Its supporters recommend giving preference to the simplest explanations, until it is proved that they are false.
- Divide the problem into several parts. When you are faced with a difficult problem, try to divide it into several parts. Thus, it will be easier for you to evaluate and find a solution for each individual part, and then, combining the results, you will come to the solution of the main problem.
Development of critical thinking in the educational environment
One of the main tasks that must be put before the teacher is the development in children the ability to think, reason, and defend their point of view, collect and investigate information about the phenomena of the surrounding reality, and not just give them the knowledge embedded in the school curriculum. This is crucial for their adult life. Children should learn to ask questions and resolve doubts, and not take everything as a matter of course. It is important to teach them not to trust, without hesitation, everything that they read, see or hear from the media, from friends, family members, and other sources of information.
What can you do to teach children to think critically? How to promote the development of critical thinking in the learning process? This critical thinking essay tries to answer these questions.
Encourage group work
The atmosphere of working in a group is ideal, so that children learn to think and develop their cognitive abilities. When they are surrounded by peers and work together, they are exposed to various processes of thinking, get to know other points of view and opinions. So, they learn to understand and analyze how other children think and come to the realization that their form of thinking is not the only possible one. They also learn to question their own beliefs and respect the opinions of others.
Encourage children to use their creativity
Creative approach is a very useful skill that helps you find new ways of solving problems and optimal behavior models. Therefore, its evelopment in the education process is so important. Instead of giving children precise instructions on how to perform certain tasks, create conditions for them in which they will have to show their creativity and solve the problem creatively. Give them the opportunity to independently find various ways to solve the problem, without the templates and established plans. Learn more about how to promote creative thinking.
Do not rush to help
Children get used to the fact that you give them everything at the ready. Every time a child has difficulty, he turns to you for help, and you instantly find a solution. To help develop critical thinking of the child, give him the opportunity to try to solve the problem on his own. For example, when he needs to solve a problem in mathematics, do not tell him concrete steps, instead ask leading questions that will help him find a solution himself.
Use the technique of brainstorming at lessons
Brainstorming before the beginning of any lesson stimulates critical thinking of students. This helps them meditate and see alternatives. Ask them questions of the following nature: What do you think this book is about? What will you learn from this topic?
Teach children to compare and contrast
A good way to develop students’ critical thinking is by comparing and contrasting the various information that you have in access. This technique can be applied to any topic. To stimulate critical thinking of children, suggest that they compare two methods for solving the same problem, two books, etc. You can also talk together about the advantages and disadvantages of one or another aspect.
Ask children questions
When the teacher asks questions, this often pushes students to reflect, makes them more attentive, helps apply and consolidate the knowledge they have gained. Ask them: “Do you agree with this statement? Which option do you think will be best? Explain why this phenomenon is observed?” Avoid questions that lead to one answer. Try to improve children’s self-esteem.
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