We met with several of Nathan’s teachers during his first quarter Parent-Teacher Conference. One thing that stood out from their different feedback about Nathan was that he is not afraid to ask questions, to clarify issues or to argue a point. If something doesn’t make sense to him, he doesn’t hesitate to start a discussion about it. If he answers a test question differently, he explains his perspective and requests his teacher to reconsider. I remember when Nathan as a young boy challenged the lines of the ever-popular nursery rhyme Twinkle, twinkle litte star, and explained to me that stars really are not little, and they don’t really twinkle. They just appear to twinkle when seen from the earth due to different factors in the atmosphere.
The ability to think critically is one of the most valuable skills that our children can learn. We don’t want our kids to just keep memorizing information without knowing how to process, analyze and evaluate them. We need to open their eyes to the fact that some questions don’t have just one right answer. If they have discovered another way to solve a problem, they need to feel confident enough to share it. Critical thinking will help them be successful in decision-making and problem-solving.
We can help inculcate critical thinking in our children by constantly engaging them in “why” and “how” conversations. Let us encourage them to always ask questions and to explore different possibilities.