Critical thinking-An Important life skill

Critical thinking-An Important life skill


Critical thinking skills are part of everyday existence of human mankind. They help us to make good decisions, understand the consequences of our actions and help to solve problems. From putting together puzzles, completing a maze, to figuring out a solution to a problem are few day-to-day use cases for critical thinking skills.

How do identify if my child is a critical thinker?

Being able to say whether a child can agree or disagree with something, and why, is a sign that the child is thinking critically. For example: you can encourage the child to give instances or reasons that show why they agree or disagree with something. Also, suggest further to probe the child on their perspective of right or wrong, true or false, okay or not okay on different instances/scenarios/situations. In other words, let the child take the position or be in that situation, evaluate, if necessary, eliminate.

To develop critical thinking

The best way to develop the habit of critical thinking in children is by encouraging into a habit of questioning about his/her opinion and thoughts.

There are some simple ways to try out this:

Ask for examples: ‘can you give me an example?’
Ask for additional information: ‘ can you say more about this?’
Ask for explanation: ‘can you say what do you mean by…?’
Ask why: get them to provide clarification, justification, purpose or motivation.
Ask for other conditions: ‘Can you say what if would depend on?’

Requisites to become a critical thinker

If the child is to become a critical thinker, he/she must be a good listener with good questioning skills. Being a good listener means not just stopping yourself from talking, but it is an attempt to understand, giving the other person space to think and talk, and also not imposing your thoughts or inferences on them.

Creative ways to practice critical thinking

  • Doodling:By encouraging the child to draw a scene to explain his/her thoughts. He/she needs critical thinking skills to depict one’s own thoughts into pictures.

  • Role play: Bring in a real-world problem like water scarcity, improper drainage, littered roads, etc….to pretend play. Ask the child to think of novel solutions and also, if possible, to implement at their level. It is one of the best ways to inculcate critical thinking.

  • Model yourself: As a parent, the most important that you can do to make your child a good critical thinker is to model yourself as a good critical thinker. They notice, monitor and evaluate your thinking skills. As an adult, if necessary, take steps to improve your skills.

  • Promote child’s interest: Knowing your child’s interest is the important step in critical thinking. The child can think critically only to the problems that they are in their area of interest.

–  C.R.KIRTICA (Grade 1A Homeroom educator)