Giving Compass' Take:

•  Mary Halton, writing for TEDEd, discusses Brian Oshiro's TED talk on how to instill critical thinking skills into students' learning experience. 

• Why is it essential for kids to develop critical thinking skills early on?  How will this help prepare them for the future workforce? 

Read about the similarities between computational thinking and critical thinking. 

If we want children to thrive in our complicated world, we need to teach them how to think, says educator Brian Oshiro. And we can do it with 4 simple questions.

We all want the young people in our lives to thrive, but there’s no clear consensus about what will best put them on the path to future success. Should every child be taught to code? Attain fluency in Mandarin, Spanish, Hindi and English?

Those are great, but they’re not enough, says educator and teacher trainer Brian Oshiro. If we want our children to have flexible minds that can readily absorb new information and respond to complex problems, he says, we need to develop their critical thinking skills.

“We need to give students an opportunity to grapple with questions that don’t necessarily have one correct answer. This is more realistic of the types of situations that they’re likely to face when they get outside the classroom.”

How can we encourage kids to think critically from an early age? Through an activity that every child is already an expert at — asking questions.

  1. Go beyond “what?” — and ask “how?” and “why?”
  2. Follow it up with “How do you know this?”
  3. Prompt them to think about how their perspective may differ from other people’s.
  4. Finally, ask them how to solve this problem.

Critical thinking isn’t just for the young, of course. He says, “If you’re a lifelong learner, ask yourself these types of questions in order to test your assumptions about what you think you already know.” As he adds, “We can all improve and support critical thinking by asking a few extra questions each day.”

Read the full article about critical thinking by Mary Halton at TEDEd.