Critical thinking teaching strategies

Machine translated pages not guaranteed for accuracy. Click Here for our professional translations. Most critical thinking teaching strategies us are not what we could be.

Improvement in thinking is like improvement in basketball, in ballet, or in playing the saxophone. Development in thinking requires a gradual process requiring plateaus of learning and just plain hard work. It is not possible to become an excellent thinker simply because one wills it. Changing one’s habits of thought is a long-range project, happening over years, not weeks or months. The essential traits of a critical thinker require an extended period of development. How, then, can we develop as critical thinkers?

How can we help ourselves and our students to practice better thinking in everyday life? In this article, we will explain 9 strategies that any motivated person can use to develop as a thinker. As we explain the strategy, we will describe it as if we were talking directly to such a person. Further details to our descriptions may need to be added for those who know little about critical thinking. Redefine the Way You See Things. Get in touch with your emotions. Analyze group influences on your life.

There is nothing magical about our ideas. No one of them is essential. Nevertheless, each represents a plausible way to begin to do something concrete to improve thinking in a regular way. Though you probably can’t do all of these at the same time, we recommend an approach in which you experiment with all of these over an extended period of time. Sometimes we jump from one diversion to another, without enjoying any of them.

Sometimes we become irritated about matters beyond our control. So why not take advantage of the time you normally waste by practicing your critical thinking during that otherwise wasted time? When did I do my worst thinking today? When did I do my best? What in fact did I think about today?

Did I allow any negative thinking to frustrate me unnecessarily? If I had to repeat today what would I do differently? Did I do anything today to further my long-term goals? Did I act in accordance with my own expressed values? It would be important of course to take a little time with each question.

It would also be useful to record your observations so that you are forced to spell out details and be explicit in what you recognize and see. As time passes, you will notice patterns in your thinking. Second Strategy: A Problem A Day. Figure out the logic of the problem by identifying its elements. In other words, systematically think through the questions: What exactly is the problem?

How can I put it into the form of a question. How does it relate to my goals, purposes, and needs? Wherever possible take problems one by one. State the problem as clearly and precisely as you can. Figure out, for example, what sorts of things you are going to have to do to solve it. Distinguish Problems over which you have some control from problems over which you have no control.

Set aside the problems over which you have no control, concentrating your efforts on those problems you can potentially solve. Figure out the information you need and actively seek that information. Carefully analyze and interpret the information you collect, drawing what reasonable inferences you can. Figure out your options for action.