How to Teach Critical Thinking in Classrooms

Almost all best schools in Greater Noida West agree that critical thinking is an essential skill that their students need to learn


Almost all best schools in Greater Noida West agree that critical thinking is an essential skill that their students need to learn. It is also pegged as one of the crucial abilities to have in the 21st-century. However, acknowledging the need to teach the same is very different from actually teaching it as proper research still does not state clearly as to how students are supposed to learn critical thinking along with their standard lessons. Even today, the onus is thus on the teachers to find their own methodology to hand over the skill to the students and assess progress by some tactic. There is still no one way to teach critical thinking, neither test whether students have formed the ability or not.


The suggested way to teach critical thinking


Even in all the obscureness, some clarity is available. Education researchers have come up with a few proven ways in which schools can teach critical thinking in their classrooms. This involves considering a particular scenario from real-life, a theory from the textbook or a passage from an online resource and ensuing a meaningful discussion on the same. The flow of the conversation can be in the following order:

  • What is the obvious interpretation of the information that was just handed out?
  • Is there an alternative interpretation that the class can come up with?
  • What are the problems with different interpretations that the class just projected?
  • Can the interpretations change when the students discuss in groups rather than brainstorming individually?
  • Is there a common interpretation that the whole class can agree to? If not, are the differences acceptable?
  • How additional information can change the interpretations?
  • What is the ultimate conclusion? Was it impartial and diverse?

As obvious, the above flow has the potential of creating a thinking process that is critical. Students will be required to analyse the scenario, come to a decision, analyse the decision further by considering multiple perspectives and question their own conclusions. Conducted strategically with proper supervision, teachers can use this strategy to infuse the skill of critical thinking. In fact, the best school in Noida Extension 2020 does pick up relevant topics from time to time to indulge its students in debates and discussions where the point is not to accept the available information at face value but critically analyse the same before believing.


Other approaches


Implementation of the above method is possible among upper-middle or senior students. But when students are still young and supposed to accept education in the way it is presented, critical thinking cannot be infused in the prescribed way. So, does the best preschool in Greater Noida not teach critical thinking? Should schools merely wait for the time to be right and then just introduce the lesson? Like any other skill, building critical thinking is also a gradual process. Preschoolers are capable of analysis and the lessons must start then.

One way to teach critical thinking to young students is by encouraging them to ask questions. Curiosity is not only the driver of knowledge but also of analysis. When students are allowed to place their inquiries and the teachers take their time to answer them, that in itself has the potential of planting the seed of critical thinking. Students understand that the information they are given might not be absolute and their queries are legitimate as they are entertained. Thinking critically is acceptable.

Another way is to infuse application in everyday classrooms. With models and examples from the real-world, the how of the lesson in hand can be addressed. Plus, kinesthetic learning can also instigate curiosity and questions and allow teachers to take education to a more personal level. Application-based learning can lead to critical thinking with the help of group discussions, simplistic analysis of the lesson and understanding the importance and purpose of education, concurrently questioning them alongside.

Then there are methods of asking students to come up with an answer that is not in the textbook, interconnect ideas from different subjects, involve creativity in STEM subjects and brainstorm topics for new projects. In schools like the BGS Vijnatham, the work starts early. And just like any other lesson, the progress of critical thinking gradually becomes complex. BGS, also, has no one way of teaching critical thinking. The teachers continuously judge the needs of the class and modify lessons according to the requirements. Teaching critical thinking is a mix of questions, analysis, brainstorming and more. The process is continuous and endless. The skill should be a priority in every school as the 21st-century is an era where the critical mind will have the best chances of survival and finding success.

Back to all