5 Ways to Enable Students to Think for Themselves

Independent thinking should be one of the primary goals of education. When students think for themselves, question what has been just told, they not only become rational thinkers but also help to make society a better place.


Independent thinking should be one of the primary goals of education. When students think for themselves, question what has been just told, they not only become rational thinkers but also help to make society a better place. Independent thinkers apply their knowledge to solve problems. They empower each other to fight against human and cultural bias and rise above the archaic status quo. Education has always caused upliftment of whole communities and it has only been possible because the educated individuals could think for themselves.

Naturally, the top 10 schools in Noida Extension motivate their students to become independent thinkers. And they achieve this by employing the following 5 tactics.


  1. Exploring two sides of a controversy

Having a meaningful discussion in the classroom about a raging real-world controversy can open the floodgates of independent thinking. Even if the verdict may seem obvious, teachers can ask a particular group to research for the controversy and another group against it and have a debate or discussion where both sides of the controversy are explored equally. This will teach students that there are always two sides to any conflicting story and one can form a better judgement by hearing both sides. Stepping out of the obvious to explore deeper will require the skill of independent thinking. Students will learn not to take every piece of information at face value.


  1. Create theories and then immediately break them

This strategy should begin with a question. Why are there more cyclonic storms now than ever? Why does the water in a pool appear blue? Why does the Earth rotate around the Sun in the solar system and not the other way around? Following these, students will have to theorise to come up with answers. The foundation will be the students’ already retained knowledge. Without further research, when students start theorising, they start thinking and explore logical solutions. The most probable answer comes to the table and when that is refuted and the actual theory is shown, students understand where they went wrong in the thinking process and rewire the pathways themselves.


  1. Read without restrictions

Reading is still the best way to open students’ minds. And the top play school in Greater Noida West inculcate this habit from the very beginning. To become independent thinkers, students need open access to a resourceful school library. The internet should also be kept at their disposal so that they can search for and explore any topic without any guidelines or syllabus limitations. If a student is researching divergently, it only means that he/she is thinking independently. And the number of books/websites the student reads, the broader his/her thinking spectrum becomes. A well-read or well-informed student picks up the habit of independent thinking automatically.


  1. Allow more free time

Thinking cannot happen if the student is always busy. While doing homework or watching television, the mind stays engulfed in the matter at hand and often wanders into unproductive thoughts. But conscious thinking can be productive. Students who stay away from all distractions and think on random topics that interest them are better placed to apply their knowledge and think for themselves. In this era of high-octane lifestyles where even children are always busy, productive thinking gets the last preference. And like any other skill, independent thinking vanishes without practice. So, students need just to think – when the mind can wander off and revisit old thoughts.


  1. Encourage and value mistakes

The human brain immediately goes into a thinking mode soon after a mistake is made and realised. The mind is wired to take lessons from it and be better prepared in the future so that the same mistake is not repeated. The best schools near Noida Extension often tap into this natural human potential to create independent thinkers as the tactic just involves encouraging students to see the value in making mistakes. If a student is not afraid of making mistakes, he/she will go beyond his/her scope to explore new domains and will continuously learn from his/her mistakes by thinking his/her way out. Mistakes make the mind more rational and independent thinking gradually becomes a habit.

Education remains incomplete if students cannot think for themselves after passing out from their schools. If they continue to make decisions based on popular opinion, the skill of independent thinking remains underdeveloped. BGS Vijnatham School understands the importance of creating independent thinkers, not just for the benefit of society but for the student as well. Hence, BGSVS applies the above strategies continuously at various levels to provoke students to think at every step, form their own ideas, gather different perspectives and develop an informed opinion. Being able to think is a gift for the human species. Education has to sharpen it for overall benefit.

Back to all