History[ edit ] The earliest documentation of critical thinking are the teachings of Socrates recorded by Plato. Socrates established the fact that one cannot depend upon those in "authority" to have sound knowledge and insight. He demonstrated that persons may have power and high position and yet be deeply confused and irrational.
A person who thinks critically asks questions about nature and attempts to find answers. Thinking critically does not mean just being critical, but the the ability to probe and examine a subject open-mindedly and from many points of view. Once we understand the value of these kinds of thought processes, we can incorporate them into our homeschool agenda.
Critical thinking skills are vital. Those who can employ critical thinking are better problem solvers, better equipped to understand how and why things work, and better at presenting and defending a logical argument not only in science but in nearly every field of study.
It is only natural, then, to teach critical thinking skills in home school, but what kinds of activities teach critical thinking skills? First, we have to determine just what is this thing we call critical thinking.
These four thought processes are considered to be higher order thinking, and when they are used together, they become problem solving methods. Lets examine the four thought processes and then discuss problem solving methods in a bit more detail. During analysis, the thinker will try to break down ideas to determine an underlying pattern.
Another example would be checking over test answers to find a pattern revealing a weak understanding in a particular area or subject mastery in another. In reality, these analyses are what a good teacher does with every test or paper. Similarly, a scientist will look over data to see if she can determine patterns which would explain the data.
Analysis is often the first higher order thought process applied to solve a problem. Synthesis is another higher order of thought. When a person uses synthesis, he or she is combining ideas to get a larger idea or concept.
In the case of a major weather event, scientists often attempt to determine if there is a pattern to the weather system which can be predicted based upon signs like temperatures or barometric pressure patterns.
A common example of synthesis is the combination of high strength of steel with the flexibility of thin strands to make a steel cable for a suspension bridge. When a new idea emerges from a body of current knowledge, synthesis is at work. Evaluation is the thought process whereby we try to decide whether an explanation is true.
In school, we teach the children to evaluate their own work and they gradually begin to judge the work of others. Another use of evaluation is deciding if a conclusion is justified, or correct, or true.
When writing up an experiment, the student is asked to write a conclusion: The student may have used analysis and synthesis to reach the conclusion, but at some point the student will have to decide that it is a good and satisfactory explanation.
Involving you children in this activity is a great way to practice higher order thinking.Sharpen your child’s critical thinking and logical reasoning skills with our collection of fun, free and printable critical thinking worksheets!
The Critical Thinking Company publishes PreK+ books and software to develop critical thinking in core subject areas.
References: Tips for teaching critical thinking to kids. Abrami PC, Bernard RM, Borokhovski E, Wadem A, Surkes M A, Tamim R, Zhang D. Instructional interventions affecting critical thinking skills and dispositions: a stage 1 meta-analysis.
Critical thinking is the ability to think reflectively and independently in order to make thoughtful decisions. By focusing on root-cause issues critical thinking helps you avoid future problems.
Critical thinking depends on knowing relevant content very well and thinking about it, repeatedly. Here are five strategies, consistent with the research, to help bring critical thinking .
Critical thinking is a critical skill for young workers these days, but what bosses mean by that and how to measure it is less clear.