Youth with critical thinking skills will have a positive impact on the world.
They will become effective communicators and leaders.
They will build a stronger society and a more peaceful world.
WHAT IS CRITICAL THINKING?
Critical thinking involves problem-solving and mindful communication with a freedom from bias or ego.
Critical thinking requires a clear assessment of their personal strengths, weaknesses, preferences and possible impact on decisions.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Critical thinking helps to:
Identify and analyze all parts of messages, arguments, and outcomes;
Learn how people make decisions and the cognitive biases that affect the thought process;
Learn how this knowledge is used to influence people’s opinions or move them to action;
Prevent being misled by bogus arguments or cognitive biases;
Examine public communications, judge how truthful they are, and make informed decisions; and,
Solve problems and face the challenges of everyday life.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CRITICAL THINKING?
Those who develop and apply critical thinking skills:
- are more successful in their careers;
have more work options as many high-level jobs need extensive critical thinking skills;
become more effective communicators as they are able to make compelling reasons to support their positions;
become more effective leaders as they can analyze an issue from many viewpoints, identify hidden interests and relationships and address them;
can better protect their finances, health and loved ones from misguided advice and unscrupulous, dishonest proposals;
do not make irrational decisions and are not easily manipulated;
have better relationships with others and live happier lives; and,
will be pivotal in building a stronger society and a more peaceful world.
HOW TO HELP?:
USE FOUR SIMPLE QUESTIONS:
An approach proposed by educator and teacher trainer, Brian Oshiro is to ask four simple questions.
Brian states “We need to give students an opportunity to grapple with questions that don’t necessarily have one correct answer. This is more realistic of the types of situations that they’re likely to face when they get outside the classroom.”
He outlines the following.
1. Go beyond “What?” — and ask “How?” and “Why?”
‘What’ questions can be answered with a quick web search. This gives a false sense of security. It makes one feel like they know a topic. But their knowledge is superficial.
‘How’ and ‘why’ questions require them to go beyond the bare facts and think about a subject.
2. Ask them how you know this?
3. Ask them how their perspective may differ from other people’s?
4. Ask them how to solve this problem?
You can find out more about Brian’s approach and find a link to his TEDx Talk in Guangzhou China in August 2018 at https://ideas.ted.com/critical-thinking-is-a-21st-century-essential-heres-how-to-help-kids-learn-it/
Encourage discussion and debate.
Disagreement or opposition gives rise to fresh ideas and viewpoints.
SEARCH FOR CRITICAL THINKING EXERCISES FOR YOUTH:
There are a a variety of websites such as:
Through these kinds of activities we foster real thinkers and life-long learners.
Critical thinking skills are what the world desperately needs.
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions please contact us.
Please see the “How Can You Help?” section below.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
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