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Critical thinking

Education is not the learning of the facts, but the training of the mind to think.

-Albert Einstein

Critical thinking is a process in which one dwells on the issues/topics/facts, analyses them, compares and contrasts them.  By doing this, one has sharper focus and clarity about the same.

For example: As an ICT teacher, I give some data to the students of grade 3 and question them about the type of software that is used to input the data.  I also instill these questions – Why is it used? How can it be used? When shouldit be used? What are the pros and cons of using the software? This enables them to have a clear understanding of the purpose of the software.

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Benefits of Critical thinking

  • Stimulates mind of enquiry
  • Promotes self learning
  • Learners become self reflective
  • Students develop deeper understanding the topic/subject.
  • Evaluate their own thinking
  • Promotes independent learning
  • Encourages the free thought process
  • Helps the students go further in their learning
  • Make decisions related to their own and community’s well-being
  • Face challenges with confidence
  • Innovation

How can students become critical thinkers?

The facilitator should allow brainstorming sessions and discussions in the classroom.  They should be opento suggestions, they should also encourage students to compare and contrast about issues/topics which add to creativity and critical thinking.  Right questioning techniques will deepen the understanding level of the students, which in return leads to critical thinking.  Teachers should also motivate students to make connections to real-life situations, allocate time for self-reflection and make necessary changes in their learning so that they can also become critical thinkers.

Agnes Benjamin

ICT Facilitator,International Centre for Excellence

 

 

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