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Learning to think critically may be one of the most important skills that today's children will need for the future.Ellen Galinsky, author of Mind in the Making, includes critical thinking on her list of the seven essential life skills needed by every child.” to encourage them to evaluate someone else’s claim or idea,’ says Peter.
" or "Let's predict what we think will happen next." Encourage thinking in new and different ways.
By allowing children to think differently, you're helping them hone their creative problem solving skills.
For younger children, patiently readjusting and maneuvering to grasp a toy on their own encourages continued problem solving and develops executive functioning skills.
For older children, ask critical thinking questions and provide enough information so they don't get frustrated, but not so much that you solve the problem for them. Rather than automatically giving answers to the questions your child raises, help him think critically by asking questions in return: "What ideas do you have? " Respect his responses whether you view them as correct or not. Tell me why you think that." Use phrases like "I am interested to hear your thinking about this." "How would you solve this problem?
These hands-on experiences provide an integral foundation for later abstract critical thinking. Offering your child ample time to think, attempt a task, or generate a response is critical, but not necessarily easy to do.
Try counting (silently) to 60 while your child is thinking, before intervening or speaking.
Every day, they’re putting their critical thinking skills into practice, even at primary school level, and this ability to think critically is an asset that will stand your child in good stead as they move through primary school, into secondary and throughout their adult lives.‘It’s important that children develop critical thinking skills as early as primary school age,’ explains Peter Worley, co-CEO and co-founder of educational charity The Philosophy Foundation.‘This is because critical thinking needs to be developed and practised as a disposition.
Good thinking should be a habit, and habits need to be started young.’Learning to think critically is a vital part of children’s development, helping them make sense of the world around them.
Key Stage 2 SATs in English, for example, include a reading comprehension paper, where your child will have to make inferences and deductions from set texts.
Indeed, research has suggested that children who are taught critical thinking skills do better at language comprehension and problem-solving, and even have a higher IQ than their peers.‘Children are not only capable of critical thinking from an early age, but they actually do it, too,’ says Peter.‘For example, children as young as five and six use counter-examples (“Not all birds fly; penguins are birds, and they don’t fly”), draw distinctions (“Heroes are not the same as superheroes”), and challenge inference-making (“Just because he’s the biggest, it doesn’t mean he should get more”).’Here’s how to help your child hone these skills as they grow.