They are: a) a rich breakfast dish with eggs, bacon, pancakes and maple syrup or a healthy green smoothie; b) watching a movie at home or going out with friends on Saturday night; c) buying a new car (yours is fine, by the way) or going on a luxurious 2-week vacation anywhere; d) a very demanding, high-paying job or a 9-to-5 more stable position.Making decisions is something we go through since childhood – from choosing which games to play or books to read to deciding on the best time to buy a house, we all must face issues, analyze and make decisions. Why then is it one of the so-called 21century skills?That should not mean we should not teach critical thinking, even (and especially) to young students. Total Physical Response (TPR) activities are also helpful, for they associate language and movement, and students start “producing language” by responding with their bodies.
Take for instance the definition below by Tara De Lecce: “Critical thinking means making reasoned judgments that are logical and well-thought out.
It is a way of thinking in which you don’t simply accept all arguments and conclusions you are exposed to but rather have an attitude involving questioning such arguments and conclusions.
Not only do these activities activate their thinking skills, but they are also very practical – you can fit them in any moment of the lesson.
If you have more time, you can go through all the steps above as the process for something bigger – a project, for instance.
It will make them better decision-makers, and with practice, also help them save time to make those decisions.
Quick research may show you different ways to do it, but there are elements in common: 1.
By thinking critically and seeing things from different angles, students become more open-minded and empathetic, better communicators, more inclined to collaborate with their peers and receive and discuss their ideas.
Thinking more about students as individuals, it is possible to say that critical thinking helps them develop their creative side by allowing their thinking process to run more freely, and explore more possibilities.
The problem, however, is how to do that – and for us, teachers, how to teach it. “To prepare students for this ever-changing and unpredictable world we live in” would be the standard answer, but let’s think further: why is critical thinking important?
Before we answer that question, let’s start with what critical thinking is.