How to Improve Critical Thinking Skills in Children?
By Andrew Loh
Critical thinking is the foundation to life success. It is a person’s
capability to think and act in a lucid and rational manner. When a
person develops critical thinking, he or she will also exhibit an
ability to excel in reflective and independent thinking. Critical
thinking is needed in all areas of life that include personal,
professional and scholastic domains. If you have critical thinking
skills, you would be able to perform the following things in life:
Synthesize different ideas at the same time, understand their
importance and later set up logical connection between these ideas.
Create several arguments at the same time and later identify, construct
and scrutinize them to put forward effective arguments.
effective in reasoning skills by finding out most common mistakes and
Find out problems if any and later solve them to
Once you create a set of ideas, segregate them
according to their priority and relevance.
Create your own beliefs
and values and justify them with proper justifications.
Critical thinking is an abstract phenomenon. It is not about collecting details
and information. If you feel that you have any excellent memory and
retrieval ability, and think that you have great critical thinking
skills, you are wrong in your perceptions. A person who knows lot of
information about different subjects need not be good in critical
thinking. Ideally, a person is classified as a critical thinker, when he
or she is able to:
Believe in what you know and deduce or
synthesize consequences from what you already know.
in quick time by using the available information and details.
educate by seeking or finding out relevant and right type of
Note: You can learn
An Introduction to Critical Thinking here.
Never ever, confuse critical thinking with developing an
argumentative or cynical nature towards others. Instead, use critical
thinking to develop a comparative reasoning and constructive mindset. In
addition, creative thinking skills could be used to develop numerous
skills like accumulating knowledge, improvise reasoning and evaluation
power, and develop theories and an ability to argue by using those
Like adults, even children could use critical thinking
skills to enrich and empower their lives. Two of the most important uses
of developing critical thinking are to compete with peers and to avoid
pressure. With proper training, your children would be able to develop
critical thinking skills those are so necessary to listen to teachers,
evaluate available choices and options and later interpret the
all-available information to self-advantage. Teaching critical thinking
to your children is a lengthy process and highly complicated task.
However, you need not despair that this goal is out of reach. You can
easily deploy a series of critical thinking programs to train your child
for optimum capabilities in this skill.
Earlier, traditional classrooms used to disseminate information and details of a particular
lesson and nothing else. Information and content imparting were the sole
criterion of a conventional classroom and this method never trained
children to acquire critical thinking skills. However, with advanced
techniques in primary and secondary education, one can see a significant
shift toward training children for critical thinking. In fact, these
methods rely on taking rote learning (based on memorization) into the
useful domain of analysis and logic.
Simply speaking, children
should give value to the mode in which they can think and act and on
what things to think. Basic methods of training children for critical
thinking start right when children are studying in their early school.
You can use these simple techniques to train your children. Please note
that these are the so-called rudimentary methods most teachers use in
their classroom. However, many advanced critical thinking programs help
you approach this training in a classical and productive manner. The
second part of this article series provides more information on these
Some of the most commonly used methods are as follows:
Open-ended questions sharpen children brains: Don't ask any question that
lead straight to a definite answer. Ask those questions that lead to further questions.
Let your children be creative when they answer your questions.
Help children to categorize and classify information: Classification leads to proper
identification and segregation of ideas and information according to
pre-defined rules. When children learn this approach, they will discover
new ideas, learn and understand them and later start applying in
Help children make decisions: Your children
should be able to separate “good” from the “bad” and, “right” from
“wrong”. When you children make a decision, ask them why they took that
decision and seek explanation.
Help children create patterns:
Critical thinking involves creating patterns from the available
information. Every bit of information processed by brain leads to
connection with another and there is a specific pattern to this
approach. Children, who fine-tune, this approach will start developing
Read the second part of this article to learn more about
techniques to train your children for critical thinking.