Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is thinking outside the lines that have been drawn. Thinking past what the traditional thinker does in order to get better ideas and come up with new solutions to issues that may arise personally or in a place of business. ??? Fostering critical thinking thus is about developing distinctive modes of responsiveness and discernment, of which there can be more than one type??? (Kirschner, S. R. 2011). Critical thinking is what makes an organization grow and become a better more established place of business.
Working with children there are always opportunities to thinking critically. It is very rare a day goes exactly like it is planned. Most of the time there are bumps in our schedule whether it be dues to a child getting sick or a last minute birthday snake a parent forgot to mention. Children also learn on different levels. Where on kind may be able to hear an example of a problem and figure out how to solve a problem identical to it another child may need to see it wrote down and figured out step by step.
Working with children and learning that each of them has their own way of learning has opened up many doors for teachers and leader in the child care business to think critically. ???Most teachers and learners are of the view that critical thinking is difficult to master since it is a culturally based concept??? (Rafik-Galea & Shameem 2007). However in the teaching field critical thinking is important. A few months back I ran into an issue with teach a few of our students what seemed to be to most, simple math problems. I explained, wrote, sent home sheets, did everything I could think of to help them understand. Nothing I did seemed to help so I decided to make math more personal. At 7 years old most children are not too interested in money so I knew using that was not an option. However at 7 years old most children are interested in animals. So I went to a local pet store and barrowed the funniest looking insects I could find. Getting about 30 or them I brought them into class the next day and got the reaction I wanted. Every kid was interested in the insects and what I was going to do with them. So using these insects as my math problem I re-taught the same math problems I had already taught the previous days in the class. It turned out to be quite a hit and the following test grades went up dramatically.
This is thinking critically. It was never in my teaching to bring insects in a classroom and use them as teach utensils. However I knew that if I could just get the students interested in what I was talking about and hold their attention long enough to get them to want to know where I was going they would be able to understand math.
It was important to me for several different reasons to get each student to understand these math problems. I knew test grades made an impact on our school as a whole but more than that I knew if I could not get them to understand the first steps in math these students would have a hard time getting the following steps. Math is like walking up stairs, you cannot skip to many before you lose your footing. Not understanding one step meant not fully understanding the next and so forth.
Knowing that I was able to teach these children these children the math problems benefitted me simply because it was an accomplished goal. It also brought up test scores which benefitted our school numbers. But more that I was concerned with how this benefitted the school or myself I was more concerned with what kind of effect it had on the children. The children not only learned math but it drew their attention. They found math time interesting. Getting many children to enjoy school is not an easy task, getting them to enjoy math is just that much harder. This was the best benefit that could have been received because of some critical thinking, or thinking outside of the box.
Critical thinking is thinking deeper than expected. It is not just thinking about or in the lines or traditional thinking but it is growing past the average thinking. Critical thinking can bring a person, business, or an organization into a whole new field of growth or learning. Critical thinking is very effective and thus it is very important. ???A critical thinker has both the skills or proficiencies necessary for the proper assessing of statements (and actions), and also the tendency to exercise those proficiencies in their ordinary statement- (and action-) assessing activities??? (Rezaei, Derakhshan, &Bagherkazemi 2011). It is not hard to think critical but this is not an easy task to master. Once a person has learned to think critical their ways of thinking and view on life events will forever be altered.
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Reference:
Kirschner, S. R. (2011). Critical thinking and the end(s) of psychology. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, 31(3), 173-183. doi:10.1037/a0024698 (Peer Reviewed)
Rafik-Galea, S., & Nair, P. (2007). Enhancing ESL Teacher Trainees Critical Thinking Skills Through Scaffolding. Journal of Pan-Pacific Association of Applied Linguistics, 11(1), 99-113. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Rezaei, S., Derakhshan, A., & Bagherkazemi, M. (2011). Critical Thinking in Language Education. Journal of Language Teaching & Research, 2(4), 769-777. doi:10.4304/jltr.2.4.769-777

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