Careers & Education

Power of critical thinking

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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Critical thinking can help you enhance your skills both academically and in sports
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Critical thinking helps to shape your thought processes

Critical thinking and reasonable judgment are skills that for some people, come naturally. For others, the skills must be taught and demonstrated. The power of critical thinking can help anyone, child or adult, develop and enhance their mental capabilities to help them excel in most any area of their lives.

As a parent, I find that I must help my children develop the practical use of these skills and tap into the power of critical thinking in their lives for their academic and athletic abilities. With my younger children, I use tools like educational games and toys to help them with these skills. With my older children, I have to be a bit more creative and use other strategies.

As my daughter gets ready to enter 7th grade this coming fall, my husband and I have been having some pretty serious talks with her about her future. She wants to be so many things; a professional cheerleader, a veterinarian, a gemologist and a rock star! We’ve had to settle her down a number of times and keep her focused (or try to) on one thing or one train of thought. We’ve had to help her decide what to do if one of the dreams doesn’t work out. I know she’s young, but can it really be too early to prepare for the future?




Critical Thinking in Kids

My daughter is an exceptionally bright kid who gets excellent grades – all A’s. She was even recommended by her teachers as a candidate for the gifted learning program. She has come a very long ways from where she was just over four years ago when she struggled a bit with reasoning and critical thinking. Our job now involves helping her focus on mastering standardized tests, working through tedious word problems and looking for the most common-sense solutions to problems.

When my daughter initially tested for the gifted program, she didn’t qualify because her scores on reasoning and critical thinking abilities weren’t high enough to get in. The teacher’s recommendations were to work with her on reasoning skills, while enforcing the power of critical thinking in everyday tasks and routines. Sounded easy enough to us, but it was quite challenging. She tended to “overthink” a problem and had difficulty in finding simplistic solutions to them.


How is Critical Thinking Applicable?

Critical thinking involves a series of judgment calls that surmise your observations, experiences, and perceptions into determining a desired result or action. When you think critically, you gauge whether or not the meaning of what is observed is sufficient enough to be adequate. It’s much more than common sense, but involves more reasoning and what is more probable or acceptable in a situation.

When it’s taken into context, critical thinking considers the evidence and the criteria for making the judgment to consider the outcome. In other words, it causes you to consider all of the “pieces” of evidence before arriving at a plausible solution. Each piece goes hand in hand and is connected in order to find the desired result.

The skills used in critical thinking also challenges you to find problems, assess potential and then aim at a workable process to solve those problems. Once a formative judgment call is made towards a resolution, the results can sometimes be applied towards any other areas of challenge.


Effective Skill Results

Effectively using critical thinking skills can help ensure success in the following areas:

- Enhance critical skills for testing. Children are tested as early as kindergarten and lasts throughout high school. Higher test scores for students can increase their chances of college admittance entries.

- Academic skills. Critical thinking skills can also be manipulated through reading and writing skills that work through the student’s comprehension. When the student is stretched mentally to learn to problem-solve and troubleshoot their formation of resolutions increases. They also learn other ways to study more effectively and how to solve other academic problems.

- General problem-solving. The power of critical thinking transcends into many areas of generalities and can help find the answer to many generalized questions. This may be perhaps where a lot of students and adults find challenging, but the answer is not to “over think” the solution but to look at the obvious.

Critical thinking is a skill that can grow and become a substantial part of our lives. As children, they have the opportunity to further develop this skill as they move into adulthood, applying it to many areas of their lives that will enhance them. As adults, many have the opportunity then to reassess some areas of challenge and make changes where necessary.

As the skills in critical thinking are sharpened and enhanced, the quality of life enhances too as the individual makes choices and determinations based on their newfound applicable skill set.


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