In this article, we are discussing how to help students develop vital critical thinking skills.
Four Ways to Help Students Become Critical Thinkers
In a world that’s ever-advancing, the generations to come have to adapt and take the place of those who went before. We want to help equip these students with the tools they need to do so, and we want to partner with you, the parents, and work together to help them think critically.
Community is an integral part of students learning to become critical thinkers. That is because as we learn from each other and rely on each other, we begin to see the world from a different perspective.
Working together will help our students gain knowledge and understanding that they did not possess before. So what are ways that we can reinforce thinking in the students we’re molding today?
1) Give them space.
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." -Aristotle
As much as we want our students and children to be successful, one of the biggest mistakes we can make is giving them answers to questions too quickly. We must allow space and time for them to wrestle and actually think for themselves.
If we choose to constantly give them the “right answers” before they have a chance to think about it, they’ll step into a world expecting answers that many times they need to find themselves. Not to mention, if they don’t learn to think for themselves, they may be more likely to listen to illogical and uninformed “wrong answers.”
2) Let them fail.
“Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” - C.S. Lewis
When we give our students and children the space to think, undoubtedly, they are going to make mistakes. They will have wrong answers, and they will make wrong decisions. It’s important for them to learn from their mistakes and then be able to correct themselves and move forward.
If we’re honest with ourselves, we can see this truth in our own lives. How many times did you fail at something, and it ended up teaching you a lesson?
3) Give them opportunities to learn.
“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
We often want to shelter our students and children from the challenges of this world. However, inviting them into opportunities where decisions need to be made and situations to observe allows them to take in the spectrum of many thoughts and ideas to wrestle with and form their own opinion and thoughts, guided by trusted mentors.
4) Create a safe learning environment.
“What do I consider a teacher should be? One who breathes life into knowledge so that it takes new form in progress and civilization.” -Helen Keller
Knowing that in order to learn, children must be allowed to fail, it is important for us as teachers, parents, and guardians to create a safe environment for them to do so. We are not their harness to keep them from falling, but rather the safety net that catches them when they do.
As they fail, we must encourage them and give them praise to reassure them that they are in a safe environment to take chances.
For example: At The Crenshaw Academy, part of our program includes debate. As a parent, you can help create a safe environment for your student by allowing them to practice the debate and thoughts at home, with safe construction and encouragement.
We host the debates at school to prepare them for real-life conversations where they may not have the safety nets of teachers and guardians for feedback and support.
Crenshaw Is Playing Our Part in Developing Critical Thinkers
At The Crenshaw Academy, we are dedicated to coming alongside parents to see their children become great citizens and fantastic leaders in a constantly evolving and changing world through learning, to think critically.
Our program, which offers debate, reading, writing, discussion, questioning, and experimenting, does just that for our students. If you have any questions about TCS or would like to speak to someone, feel free to contact us at 1-407-757-2241 or visit our website.