Small Kids, Big Ideas: How To Raise Critical Thinkers

By Myka Bomediano, Parent Herald April 05, 10:56 pm

Many schools in the United States are now allowing children to drive lessons depending on their curiosity. This way, they are more interested in what they want to learn. Downplaying the need to memorize facts and instead discussing topics and presenting ideas introduced the concept of critical thinking to young children - something they can greatly benefit from, and something that parents need to teach them early on in life.

Critical thinking has been subject to educational conferences for over three decades, and lately, the movement is again picking up steam. So how can parents apply this concept at home? The American Philosophical Association  has a few tips, and here are some of them:

Start Them Young

While children are not ready for formal logic, they can be taught to give reasons for their conclusions. They can also be taught to evaluate the reasons that others offer.

Encourage Curiosity

Like in many schools, encourage them to be curious. Get ready for children to ask plenty of questions, and try to explain things as simply as you can when they do. A rationale that makes sense for adults rarely makes the same sense to children, so try to explain in a way that they can understand.

Consider Alternatives

There are different ways to answer problems, yes, so teach children to think of more than one solution to a specific problem. Considering multiple solutions make them more flexible as thinkers.

While factual matters are easy to give right and wrong answers to, expose them to new material by encouraging them to read books with cliffhangers or to watch news on television. This way, they can also think about ethical, moral, and public policy issues.

Is critical thinking really important for children to learn? Apparently so. Parents.com quoted that critical thinking, according to Georgia State University professor of education Amy Seely Flint, helps encourage children to become investigators. Parenting Science also noted that children who know how to think critically do better in language comprehension, inventive thinking, and are even statistically said to have higher IQ and it can start right at home.

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