Thirteen ways to enhance critical thinking
We all have heard that critical thinking is important for students to develop in this fast moving world. Well, thinking in any capacity has to be practiced and not left to chance. We hear that creative people possess the ability to think outside the box, however, there must be tools inside the box to make sense of our thinking. These necessities are the communication skills, which we start honing as small children. Communicating ideas is important not only for sharing them, but also for making good decisions. The more efficient we write, speak, compute, read, and listen, the better we can formulate and present our ideas. We must be able to state results, justify our opinion, and present arguments.
The ability to critically think strengthens as you come up with a well-thought-out and robust answer to an essential question. These next 13 steps help develop critical thinking which can be practiced in classrooms within any subject area.
- Students analyze a topic question in order to justify their initial opinion as they prepare to present arguments that highlight their first thoughts.
- They now can organize information and data listing all the pertinent facts and opinions. Here there is no judgement of truth.
- Now is the time to interpret the facts and opinions. Place in order from most to least credible.
- Identifying what information is important allows for a further investigation of the data.
- Looking for patterns will help to make more sense of trends.
- This would be a good time to categorize findings, which helps to see a larger picture.
- Ascertain how relevant the material is to answering questions or expressing ideas.
- Consider alternatives that may give better reasoning.
- Weigh the evidence to justify that the facts are presented accurately.
- Now is the time to determine the probability of your findings, making sure they lead to a reasonable conclusion.
- Use logical reasoning to see if a general statement can be determined.
- Test findings and share with team members for feedback.
- Reflect and formulate a concluding statement.
Using these steps will give the learner an excellent pathway for critically thinking about any topic examined.
Oak Hill Academy is a NJ private school that is co-educational, independent, nonsectarian, and nonprofit for grades pre-kindergarten through eight. Oak Hill Academy is dedicated to a traditional, challenging, and caring learning environment that encourages comprehensive thought processes and deep understandings; thus promoting the wholesome intellectual, emotional, moral, and physical lifetime growth of our students. If you want to learn more about what makes Oak Hill Academy one of the best private school in NJ, visit us online at www.oakhillacademy.com , or subscribe to our mailing list to be notified when we post more topics.