That we live in the information age, there is no doubt about it. We have immediate access to all types of information, data, and people through multiple devices and sources. That is why today it is more necessary than ever to have critical and reflective thought. How to improve your thought process? For what? It’s simple. Critical thinking helps the little ones to discern between true and false, relevant and superficial, evidence and opinions and us. It allows us to be aware of our thoughts to analyze and evaluate them effectively. And, although all people indeed have the ability to think, this is a skill that should be learned. In the same way that we learn to write, dance, or sing.
How to improve your thought process?
We give you 8 tips to improve your thought process with the youngest, in the classroom or outside it:
Reserve time and space.
In our day to day, busy with several tasks at once for most of the time, it is difficult to find a time when the mind focuses only on one thing: thinking. Establishing time of day to think reflectively, being aware of what is going through the mind, is important to create a habit, and acquire practice.
Promote knowledge and curiosity.
Encourage emotional creativity in the youngest to make discoveries. You can propose activities that incite curiosity and knowledge, always appropriate to their age. In this way, you will establish a gateway to new learning and thoughts.
Teach to doubt.
Without the intention of generating distrust of the youngest, it is important that you raise the reliability of the sources they consult. The veracity of the information they receive, so that they learn to differentiate between what is based and what is not, between complete and incomplete knowledge. It can make elaborate judgments.
It is essential to encourage critical thinking: what do you think? How do you know? Why? It is also convenient to share with them your way of thinking, your doubts, and your point of view on the aspects that you think are convenient. There is no better teaching than setting an example.
Justify, argue, analyze.
Find reasons, explain arguments, compare ideas in an orderly manner with your children or students, and ask them to do the same. Expressing thoughts will become aware of their maturity and degree of elaboration. An interesting activity is to propose that each one defend a position opposite to his own. With it, they do not feel identified. For this, you can analyze texts, books, talks, advertisements, news, statements, etc.
It promotes autonomy.
Respect their space and propose readings, conversations, environments, and activities that foster the development of critical thinking autonomously. Your students will learn to think and give their personal opinions with responsibility. It is important to respect the form of expression in which they feel most comfortable. Some prefer to explain themselves in a group and oral way, while others prefer to do so in a more intimate format, in writing or in small groups.
Ask your students other perspectives and other angles from which reality can be focused. We are part of a normally well defined social, political, and cultural environment, and our point of view is always conditioned by it. Therefore, trying to put oneself in the place of others to understand their point of view is a highly recommended training and creative activity.
In the exercise of promoting critical thinking. It is important to get to the bottom of some issues that are being worked on. Before asking for quick reflections on various topics, it is interesting to choose a few to analyze at a higher degree of depth.