Critical thinking is the process of actively analyzing and applying information that has been gathered through reflection, experience and observation. Critical thinking is the ability to find solutions to any problem based on logic and evidence. Students must possess critical thinking as it helps them not only follow the ideas but to find their actual meaning and the connections behind them. It is vital for any student to develop critical thinking skills at an early age as it helps them get through life and will be the core skill for decision making. Here are six easy strategies that will surely increase critical thinking among students.
1. Participate in discussions
Critical thinking can be developed among students through socializing. If the students get opportunities to participate in discussions, they must go ahead instead of shying away as it will help them come across various perspectives. It will also introduce them to new information, they will get to hear numerous opinions and may also come across a lot of disagreements. It will give them a chance to think and analyze the situation around them and provide their opinions as well. The plus point is that it will also help in developing their self-confidence as well as better communication skills.
One of the most important factors in increasing critical thinking is the ability to ask questions and come up with the answers and analyze them thoroughly. When students get a chance to collaborate with their classmates, they tend to take the responsibility and ownership of their work which promotes independence and critical thinking. It also allows students to pitch in their ideas and opinions among others. This can also help these students learn from each other and the great part about collaborating is that these students, at an early age will also learn that not everyone has the same thought process and other people’s opinions matter, even if they are different from their opinions and thoughts.
3. Studying with the help of examples
It is easier for students to remember information with the help of examples that reflect practical implications. Real-life examples, facts and analogies help in increasing critical thinking. They also contribute to mindful learning.
4. Asking questions
Questioning is the easiest and most essential tool for increasing critical thinking skills. It is the simplest strategy to start with. It is often seen that students tend not to ask questions in class, it might be because they are afraid of speaking in the class or of embarrassment. Students shouldn’t hold back from asking questions, it will only help in enhancing their critical thinking in learning. Open ended questions are the way to go as it requires the students to dig deeper into the lesson.
5. Go beyond academic learning
It is impossible for students to gather every piece of knowledge through their school textbooks, or the lessons taught in school. The academic curriculum only helps lay the foundation for further learning. So, if you have a spark of curiosity then indulge in more research, read more books apart from the school textbooks, newspapers and learn with the help of the internet.
6. Problem based learning
Problem based learning is an efficient yet effective strategy that encourages students to use critical thinking skills through a structure for discovery that helps them learn better and deepen their understanding. Problem based learning can be broken down into a few steps like exploring a specific problem, students researching or brainstorming ideas to overcome the issue, developing a solution and presenting it to the class or their teachers and lastly create a call to action, students must explain what steps need to be taken in order to tackle the problem.