How to Build Critical Thinking Skills In Children

 Remember a time in school when the teachers told us "to put on our thinking caps."

Thinking Caps--which meant to look for the answer using critical thinking skills, heck I even remember a time when critical thinking was part of the school curriculum.

Many children want instant answers without thinking through complex problems.

In my Calculus class you had to show every step in solving your problem, even if you got the right answer, if  you had a mis-step that showed an error in getting the right answer, you failed the exam.

It is essential to teach children critical thinking skills not just "getting the right answer on an exam."

Growing up I had to present to my mother a plan for everything! She never allowed me to be lack in my thought process and if I did something impulsively, she asked "What was I thinking?" then she listened because she really want to know if there was some error in my thought process.

Critical thinking skills should be ingrained into every aspect of education, not only math, a Art History major has to know the meaning behind every color and why certain artist used certain colors at specific times, which invoked certain emotions, etc. This is also the base for any fashion, advertising, and marketing field.

English and Film majors have to know and understand Greek Philosophy to get an appropriate understanding of Shakespeare as it relates to the essentials of a true tragedy, horror or love story.

Many top-tier colleges use the Socratic method of teaching to reinforce this principle.

However, in order to get to the top- tier colleges we need to start NOW with activities such as the debate society, law team, Junior Achievement, and Drama clubs all of which can be introduced in Junior High School. In addition to the regular curriculum and sports.

Kindergarten and Elementary schools-- creative play games such as chess (Math and Strategy), checkers (Math and Strategy),  Candy Land (colors and counting), Operation (Biology), and  creative writing -- many children who are in abusive environments will often tell their stories through creative writing.

Cheers to "putting on our thinking caps."

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