In my earlier column on August 23, Are You Right-Parenting Your Gen-Alpha Child?, I ended with a question – Are you preparing your Gen Alpha child for the VUCA world? I also shared about the three skills – Curiosity, Critical Thinking, and Compassion. Here goes the part on Critical Thinking.
Critical thinking is the ability to think logically, rationally, and analytically to objectively evaluate situations, solve problems, and make decisions based on logic rather than emotion.
Think about it as an ability to think about thinking. It can be applied to any subject of study – i.e., not limited to a subject like science, economics, maths, or psychology. It spans across the spectrum.
Critical thinking involves being able to identify one’s own biases, assumptions, and values; understand the limitations of one’s knowledge; and recognize when our thinking is flawed or incomplete.
Critical thinking is a vital competency for 21st-century children.
It allows children to make informed decisions and solve problems. The ability to think critically enables children to be self-aware and self-directed learners who can recognize when they need help with their studies or other life tasks. It enables them to see things from different perspectives, solve problems creatively and make better life choices.
It helps them make sense of the world around them. When we are faced with a complex situation where prior answers do not exist, their first instinct is to Google. The alternative is to ask others – like family or friends – and trust their answers than their own instincts.
However, by developing critical thinking skills early on in life, children will learn to trust their instincts while taking ‘inputs’ from others and evaluating what others say before deciding. They would choose a course of action that would be best for themselves. This is more relevant today when we live in echo chambers and are manipulated by all social feeds on what we should think., feel and believe.
What can you do to make your child critical thinkers?
If you are a parent, you know that your child’s education is the most important thing in the world to you. But what exactly is education? Is it about learning facts and figures? Is it about memorising Math formulae, historical dates, and the atomic number of electrons in chemistry? Or does it mean using those facts and using logic and reason to come up with new ideas, ask questions, and solve problems?
Critical thinking is a skill that can be developed, and children must develop it. It is important. if you don’t build those critical thinking skills, they won’t be able to make good decisions or solve problems,
Critical thinking as a skill may or may not be in the school curriculum but is a definite must-have in life’s curriculum. This will help them succeed not only in school, but also in life.
Critical thinking is an important skill that every child should develop. It helps them to learn, grow and thrive. This makes them more likely to succeed academically, socially, and professionally throughout their lives.