The Importance of Teaching Critical Thinking in Children
Critical thinking is very important in our every day lives. It helps in making sound decisions, solve problems and get a clear understanding of our actions. People use critical thinking for everything from planning the day to planning for the future and everything in between. When we are focussed and have self-control, we can get closer to our life goals.
Critical thinking utilizes three important life skills such as connection pieces, thinking about perspective, and communicating. All these three combine to make critical thinking possible.
Critical Thinking in Children
Children are born with natural questioning and inquiring abilities and their natural curiosity lays the foundation for critical thinking. However, in order to ensure that children are using critical thinking in their everyday lives in a proper way, it’s important to teach them the skill so that they can understand the information, interpret, measure, contrast, reason, and demonstrate high thinking skills. This is even more crucial in an era when technology and the world are changing very rapidly and they are bombarded with information from everywhere- mobiles, TV, computers, books, and friends and siblings.
Children should think for themselves and ask questions. These are the skills that will make them better students and professionals.
Critical Thinking is Important For Reading, Science, and Math
Reading is essential for children. When children read, they should slow down to reflect on what they have read. This will help them to read between the lines and come up with their own interpretation of the reading. The children will naturally get questions in their minds about the plot and characters and their role in the story as well as the important message. These questions will make the child think critically and understand the book.
Critical thinking is very crucial for solving mathematical problems. To solve math problems, a child has to make reasonable judgments. With the ability t think critically, the child will be able to come up with a solution.
For science too, critical thinking is very crucial. Science is all about interpretation, experimentation, and getting conclusions at the end of the results. Interpretation is completely based on questions and observations based on the critical thinking process.
As mentioned above, we use our critical thinking skills to solve our everyday problems. When we have a problem, we look at it from various angles and then arrive at a solution based on our experience. It’s important to teach children these methods early on so that they can use these methods right in their school, going all the way into their adulthood and professional lives.
Ways to Improve Your Child’s Critical Thinking Skills
There are several ways to encourage and teach your child to think critically. As a parent, your role should be to ask questions and guide the thinking process. However, the most appropriate way is to let your child experiment and think on their own on why and what causes things around them. Helping your child to think critically will have a positive impact on their problem-solving skills.
- Provide Play Opportunities
One of the best methods to test how things work is to provide children with opportunities to play. Normally, it’s during the playtime that children explore the world around them. When they play they observe many things after which they will have many questions. When you provide both indoor and outdoor play opportunities, you are helping the children observe many things, think, and react. These play experiences provide the basic foundation on which they will be building their critical thinking abilities.
- Stop and wait
Give your child enough time to think, play or do a task, and think of a question. Do not provide any answer. When your child thinks of a question or asks you one, take a deep breath, wait for a while. Before you answer, ask your child about what could be the possible answer. This gives your child a chance to think of a possible answer based on their observation.
- Don’t Answer Immediately
Never tell an answer immediately. Instead, wait for a while before answering. Closely observe what your child is doing, his body language and his thought process and then answer. Do not do any task for your child and instead, you must ask them to try to do it on their own. This way you will be able to see how they think and do their job.
- Ask Questions
When your child asks you answer during playtime, do not give any reply, instead, you must ask questions like “why do you think this is happening here?’ or “Why did the ball roll so fast?” there is no limit to how many questions you can ask or how you can twist the question. Complement your child for giving you an answer- no matter whether it’s right or wrong.
We have been hard-wired to think creatively and it has become an intrinsic part of our daily lives. We use critical thinking to arrive at the conclusion, make decisions, think of causes and effects, think of circumstances and to deal with the issues. As adults, we have learned to think critically from our childhood and also based on circumstances in our personal and professional life. We need to put that thought process in our children to ensure that they think critically wherever they are—home, school, sports or just about anywhere and in any situation.
Orchids The International School has always emphasized the importance of teaching critical thinking skills to its students. Our focus is on teaching students academically and holistically. If you want to know more about Orchids The International School, visit one of our branches and we would be happy to talk to you.