Strategies Teaching Critical Thinking Skills

Most people have studied a foreign language, playing a musical instrument, or art at least once. The development of critical thinking is not much different from one of these activities. However, this takes a lot of practice. In addition, it is quite difficult to track intermediate results. To develop critical thinking as quickly as possible, special strategies were invented. 

Strategy #1: Get rid of mindless activities

Most people on Earth complain about the lack of free time. In fact, we do a lot of useless things every day. Watch yourself. Perhaps, you are aimlessly surfing social media or being distracted by one and all while working. If instead, you spent time reading helpful books or articles, exercising, or doing any other activity that is beneficial to you, your day would be much more productive. Teach yourself to ask the question “Why?” “Why should I surf the Internet looking for something interesting when I can read an article on critical thinking development strategies?”

Strategy #2: One problem per day 

When choosing this strategy, you need to set aside a little time every day to find a solution to one problem. First, determine its essence. Gather as much information about your problem as possible. Especially pay attention to the reasons for its occurrence. Carefully check the collected facts for truth. Then think over several options for solving the problem and choose the best one based on an analysis of the possible consequences. Daily practice will help you apply critical thinking more often and make better decisions.

Strategy #3: Keep a diary of your decisions 

This is especially effective in combination with the previous strategy. Keep a diary in which you will daily note the problem, its causes, possible ways out of the situation, and the decision you made. When the result of your choice can be assessed, mark in your diary how well you did on the task. Such a diary will help you record the mistakes you make when solving a problem, as well as track progress in the long term. Over time, you will notice that there are fewer errors.

Strategy #4: Develop certain character traits 

If you want to quickly master the skill of critical thinking, reading books is not enough. First of all, work on discipline. If you miss one of the steps in solving the problem (for example, checking information), you lack discipline. Other useful qualities will be perseverance, modesty, and willpower. Know how to doubt, and it will be more difficult to deceive you. When you express your opinion, back it up with strong arguments.

Start training your thinking now and don’t put it off until later. This skill will help you throughout your life, starting from the simplest choice — what to buy in the store — and ending with the vital ones — which university to enter, where to start working, etc. Be prepared for failure and a long learning process. No pain, no gain. Moreover, the result is worth the effort and time.