Thursday, 22 November 2012

Teaching Critical Thinking Skills to Children

Teaching critical thinking skills to children is increasingly becoming inevitable. Development has resulted to accessing information with ease. Some information is beneficial and in some cases, the information presented is unnecessary ‘junk’. Unless children learn critical thinking skills, they will lack the capacity to differentiate between what is good for consumption or otherwise.Teaching critical thinking skills to children requires you to come up with lessons plans for teaching critical thinking skills. The lessons plans for teaching critical thinking skills are suitable in setting achievable goals and for evaluation purposes.Although many prefer to conduct an analysis at the end of a course, it is advisable to evaluate yourself and your students in the course of teaching critical thinking skills to children constantly. Lessons plans for teaching critical thinking skills to children should include critical thinking skills test. As a teacher, you can choose to come up with the test, or you can log on to classified websites for customized tests, although it is advisable that you come up with the test.

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What should you include in your lessons plans for teaching critical thinking skills to children:
Ask questions- read books together with the children. If they are advanced in age, you can allow them time to read on their own after which you ask questions. Questions you ask may include: what do you understand from the text? Why do you think so? Is there another approach to this? What do you think of this other approach?

Encourage them to ask questions- let children ask you questions on the concepts they have learnt. One of the best ways to encourage them to ask questions is by asking them when they fail to. You can also encourage this by giving a gift for every question asked.

Give room for discussion- do not be quick to approve or disapprove a decision from children. Let them give an explanation for their thought, after which you also give your thoughts on the matter. That will help the child make an informed decision.

Model critical thinking to them- you can do so by thinking aloud in their presence, or involve them in decision making. In some cases, point out a few things you need them to consider. In case you have a different opinion from what they have, explain it to them and confirm that it makes sense to them. Let them be actively involved in making decisions that affect them. 

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