When you hear the term “critical thinker,” what comes to mind? It is a term often used when describing favorable characteristics in children, but it can seem a bit abstract when trying to actually define it. Likewise, if you want to encourage it in your own child, you really should have a good idea of what it is first.
In an article about creative problem solving, critical thinking is defined as being able to:
- synthesize ideas and set up connections between these ideas
- create effective arguments
- identify common mistakes
- find and solve problems
- organize personal ideas according to priority and relevance
- create and justify personal beliefs and values
In essence, critical thinking is the ability to think about solutions from a variety of perspectives before making any sort of conclusions. A child who is a critical thinker is not necessarily critical of others. Rather, he or she sorts through all available information, identifies strengths and weaknesses, and is willing and able to adapt his or her personal perspective in order to formulate the best solution to a given problem.
Children use critical thinking skills to enrich their own beliefs about the world. A child who is a critical thinker does not mindlessly regurgitate what they are told in a classroom. Instead, this child can effectively and efficiently analyze information in order to create their own theories.
At World of Enrichment, we encourage critical thinking skills in a variety of ways. In our Science 4 Kids classes, we ask open-ended questions about expected outcomes in experiments. In our Spanish Language classes, we help your child categorize foreign concepts into meanings they can understand. In our Discovery Kids Puterbug Computer classes, we help your child make appropriate decisions regarding the use of modern technology. In our Musikgarten Music Education classes, we help your child identify patterns in songs.
Critical thinking skills are not always taught in the traditional classroom, making World of Enrichment yet another amazing tool for enhancing your child’s development.