Teaching Your Child Critical Thinking

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Children who are critical thinkers are not afraid to be curious.  They have the ability to ask good grades that are higher than average; even in public school systems where individualized teaching is largely impossible, they thrive better than most peers because teachers have a better idea on how to address their academic needs.  While critical thinking may come naturally to some children, parents can provide guidelines and foster this skill as well.  Teach your child to think critically by allowing them to consider the following methods of inquiry:

  • What exactly do you mean by that? Clarifying meaning is a more active way of learning rather than simply accepting what you are told.  Asking for clarification indicates interest, and communicates the desire to learn more.  Children who are not afraid to ask questions when they do not fully understand something make the most out of their education.  Even outside the class, asking for clarifications fosters good interaction with other people, and helps curb the bad habit of assuming too much.
  • I wonder why that happens. Curiosity is the jumping board for learning.  It opens up the mind to new things and deeper knowledge.  Moreover, it shows awareness of the surroundings and sharpens the intellect.  The curious child is a learning child.
  • How can you tell? It isn’t enough to know information.  In a lot of academic subjects, the ability to arrive at the correct answer is important.  The child must learn the logical processes involved in order to be able to duplicate the solution to a particular answer.
  • Is there any other explanation? Critical thinking implies being able to discern things rather than just memorizing data.  If school is preparation for the real life, then students must learn to think for themselves.  In the adult world, one problem often has more than just one solution.
  • Am I explaining something or just labeling it? Book learning is somewhat heavily focused on categorizing things rather than truly understanding what it means.  For example, while a child knows that biology uses binomial nomenclature, he must also be able to know what it means.  Understanding what a thing really is and knowing how it works rather than simply knowing what it is called is the hallmark of analytical thinking.

Critical thinking goes beyond the mere accumulation of data.  It promotes comprehension and enhances the ability to appropriately apply gained knowledge to real-life situations and problems.  It is never too early, nor too late to teach your child how to think critically.  This is a skill that will prove valuable to him for the rest of his life.

Joana Chrystal Ventura-Moises RN is also our expert blogger on plumbing and shower screens.  She contributes home improvement articles to other websites as well.

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