Socrates, the father of critical thinking. They even pride themselves on it; after all, who wants children to just take in knowledge passively? But there is a problem with this widespread belief.
Ellen Weinstein Advertisement A democracy relies on an electorate of critical thinkers. Yet formal education, which is driven by test taking, is increasingly failing to require students to ask the kind of questions that lead to informed decisions.
More than a decade ago cognitive scientists John D. Bransford and Daniel L. Shockingly, the two groups came up with plans of similar quality although the college students had better spelling skills.
From the standpoint of a traditional educator, this outcome indicated that schooling had failed to help students think about ecosystems and extinction, major scientific ideas. The researchers decided to delve deeper, however.
They asked both groups to generate questions about important issues needed to create recovery plans. On this task, they found large differences. The college students had cultivated the ability to ask questions, the cornerstone of critical thinking.
They had learned how to learn. Museums and other institutions of informal learning may be better suited to teach this skill than elementary and secondary schools.
Specifically, their questions became more comprehensive at the new exhibit. Asking juicy questions appears to be a transferable skill for deepening collaborative inquiry into the science content found in exhibits.
This type of learning is not confined to museums or institutional settings. One of the best examples is The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, in which the eponymous host expertly shreds political, commercial and scientific-sounding claims in the press by using numbers, logic and old video.
The Maker Faire, which conducts techie do-it-yourself projects, has reintroduced the idea that our learning is richer for our mistakes: Informal learning environments tolerate failure better than schools. Perhaps many teachers have too little time to allow students to form and pursue their own questions and too much ground to cover in the curriculum and for standardized tests.
But people must acquire this skill somewhere. Our society depends on them being able to make critical decisions, about their own medical treatment, say, or what we must do about global energy needs and demands. For that, we have a robust informal learning system that eschews grades, takes all comers, and is available even on holidays and weekends.
This article was originally published with the title "What Is Your Question?Strategies for Teaching Critical Thinking Skills.
You can use the techniques below for teaching critical thinking skills in every lesson and subject. Get creative and find different ways to incorporate them into your teaching practices. 1. Begin with a Question.
This is the simplest foray into critical thinking. Three Tools for Teaching Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills Kristen Sligner’s Grade 2 class used a case study about an ice cream company to explore tensions. After completing their Pro-Pro charts and creating a reframe question, students brainstormed possible solutions.
«How Can We Teach Critical Thinking Skills? | Main | How Can You Tell The Difference Between Good And Bad Education Research? Response: Several Ways To Teach Critical Thinking . Therefore, it can be argued that there needs to be an engineering-specific definition of what comprises critical thinking, and that this specific skill can be taught in the classroom.
share | improve this answer. Critical thinking skills are important, but can thinking be taught in the classroom? Find out as we discuss tips to encourage students to think critically. offers hundreds . Critical thinking skills are important, but can thinking be taught in the classroom?
Find out as we discuss tips to encourage students to think critically. offers hundreds .