A survey by World Economic Forum lists Critical Thinking as one of the top two skills required to thrive. Critical Thinking Skills has found its rank going up in that list over the years. Unfortunately, schools are not providing much opportunities to develop critical thinking skills. What about you? Are you providing enough opportunities for your child to develop and cultivate this skill?
Universities look out for students with critical thinking skills and corporates are giving more importance to creative problem solving skills when they hire new employees. During the teenage years, it is the critical thinking skills that help children to figure out the kind of people they want to hang out with, the kind of habits they want to avoid and the kind of pursuits they want to undertake. That shows how important critical thinking is in every aspect of our lives. The good news is, it is a skill that can be developed.
Where are the Opportunities available to improve critical thinking skills?
Education leader Ellen Galinsky lists Critical thinking as one of the 7 essential life skills every child needs in her book Mind the making. The good news is that critical thinking is a life skill that can be cultivated.
Everyday, your child comes across various opportunities to challenge themselves as well as to figure out how this world works. These are opportunities that present themselves to them to cultivate their critical thinking and creative problem solving skills.
Understand your child’s critical thinking skills
Does your child think everything they watch on the TV is true? Does your child blindly believe everything their friends say or do they make judgments and conclusions after thinking through it? Whether your child is a kindergartner or a high school student, there are many things you can do to cultivate and support their creative thinking skills.
The one thing you must do to cultivate critical thinking skills in your child
The most important factor that helps creative problem solving is powerful questioning. It is the questions that define the path of our thinking. What do you ask your child when they come back from school? Do you ask them “How was the school?” or “Did you eat your lunch?” or “What did you learn today?” From today onwards, why don’t you ask them “What questions did you ask today?”
This simple question could prompt your child to understand the importance of asking questions. It will provide inspiration to be not just a learner, but also a thinker and a communicator. Isidor I. Rabi, the Nobel laureate physicist gives credit to this very question by his parents as the reason he had become a scientist. With the ever-increasing population and limited natural resources we have today, critical thinking is not a nice to have skill anymore, it is an essential skill. Your child’s success in their future jobs will depend on how creatively they solve problems.
Do you want to know how you can make thinking more visible to your child? You might be interested in this.
So, what did you ask today?
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