Intrinsic Motivation
September 3, 2021

Critical Thinking…is Critical

“The possibilities are endless when we view the world in ways of thinking that are open to working cyclically. With a “full circle approach”, there are no limits…”

Educators from all walks of life have shared goals. However, no matter where they come from, one of the most common aspirations amongst the code within pedagogy is effectively developing critical thinking skills. 

Thinking critically is the pinnacle of the accumulation of knowledge and experience. 

In today’s world, how can we start developing our young learners’ critical thinking skills as opposed to purely teaching to standardized tests of multiple choices? What strategies will bring out the critical thinkers within all our learners? 

Below we will address the ways we can develop critical thinking skills the right way. Ultimately, how we effectively teach these skills, is just as relevant to how learners will learn them. 

Priorities

Developing Critical Thinking Skills is a team effort in the learning process. If we begin by building elements of trust, thinking, and speaking open-mindedly together, we set an example to learners that we trust in the goodness of what they have to bring. We want to encourage kids to step up and fully engage in meaningful projects or tasks.

Project-Based Learning Makes a Difference

Analyzing and solving real-world problems turns into real and connected experiences, which can change and evolve.

Yet again, this is a skill that is paramount to success in life beyond the educational experience. Developing critical thinking skills and HOTS (Higher Order Thinking Skills) comes to the forefront here.

The Freedom to Learn From Multiple Perspectives

In short, this means connecting the dots that matter most and giving our learners the freedom to think about how such knowledge applies  first of all. 

Through focusing on personalized approaches, it allows a certain “freedom” for addressing problems and problem-solving. 

And essentially, this puts ownership and the power of knowledge into the hearts, hands, and minds approach to learning and of course teaching. With this is a heightened sense of ownership is established and when challenged by a problem, we are more likely inclined to find a creative and adaptable approach to solutions. Of course, this elevates our critical thinking capacity all around, as well.

“Solution Fluency” and the 6D’s:

Solution Fluency by definition is the process of working through, solving any problem, no matter how big or small it is. Basically: it’s what we need to do when we don’t know what to do. It’s also the perfect system for developing strong critical thinking skills. Whether it’s something simple or solving the questions of the universe, the 6D’s are fail-safe steps we need to encourage young learners and EVERYBODY to take. 

Let’s go!

Define: Asking the key question, for knowledge, is the basis. Ask questions to clarify, focus and understand what the problem is. 

For every problem, a clear vision puts us on the right path to solve it. The first step is to identify what “argument or problem” needs to be solved. 

– Do we need to consider another point of view?

– Is there another way to look at this question?

Questions help us acquire a deep understanding of the problem. In some cases, there is no actual problem in itself. 

In those cases we just move forward,  however, when it comes to gaining knowledge and retaining thought, it requires critical analysis  of the connections made. 

The next “D” involves:

Discovery: Consider all aspects of the problem. What’s being done currently? What is the nature of the problem? Once the problem is identified, the next step is to understand the situation and the facts aligned with it.

Mind mapping is an effective tool used to analyze the situation, establishing correlations between it and the core problem, hopefully, the best way to move forward will be highlighted with some positive thinking and application of such thoughts.

Dream and brainstorm approaches, this is the best bit. Imagine the problem solved positively, no matter how seemingly impossible some of the solutions may be. To think critically we must do so without borders, boxes, or walls within the mind.

Design, Deliver, and Debrief: 

Learning is “hands-on” therefore, the presentation of ideas and knowledge requires practical application. Throughout the Critical Thinking process, we always explore trends  to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to solutions. Action, analysis and reflection are indispensable, continual parts of thinking critically.

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Applying Critical Thinking Skills is a positive change in the paradigm of teaching and learning. At Tutor Partners, we see the results of how engagement in the learning process enhances the collaboration amongst tutors and students. 

 

Most importantly, the analysis of thought and action equips students with the skills needed to succeed as critical thinkers navigating the world.

Just be, live freely.