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Helping Your Child Develop their Critical Thinking Skills

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Children are born curious and hungry for knowledge. They don’t care how they get information – they just know that they need it and will seek it out with all of their energy. Critical thinking skills aren’t quite so easy to learn and your child needs all the help you can offer to develop this important set of skills.

What is critical thinking?

Critical thinking is a complex subject and many different definitions exist. Largely though it’s the act of being an active learner rather than a passive learner. Passive learning is simply taking facts in – and retaining them. Active learning is all about questioning the facts and looking at new ways to approach problems.

A passive learner might simply accept that there’s a problem with the environment – an active learner would immediately begin asking questions – for e.g. “what is being done to combat global warming?” and “How can we improve on current strategies?”

Teaching your child to embrace critical thinking as a way of life is the best route to their success in life.

Critical thinkers are highly valued by employers and generally find life more fulfilling. A good school will prepare pupils for this reality by ensuring that critical thinking is encouraged where possible.

This prep school in Hertfordshire places a great emphasis on critical thinking and it’s a skill which is introduced in as many lessons as possible.

Teach your child that it’s ok to ask questions

Always answer their questions. Ask them questions. When they see or learn about something new, you can ask questions designed to get them thinking about it.

This can help them to –

  • understand connections between different ideas
  • determine the significance and consequences of different arguments and ideas
  • recognise, build on and assess arguments
  • spot inconsistencies and errors in ideas or opinions

These skills will prove extremely valuable as your child grows and moves through their educational journey.

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