Improving Critical Thinking With a Simple 5-Step Process [Video]

by | Jan 18, 2017

Improving critical thinking takes practice, but it’s actually easy. With a simple system to refer back to you can’t go wrong. That’s exactly what you’ll discover in this terrific TED Ed lesson created by Samantha Agoos. It’s called 5 Tips to Improve Your Critical Thinking. It provides you with a formula for critical thinking that you and your students can internalize easily and use every day.

We’ve talked before about critical thinking being one of the most important life skills we can teach our kids. They are indeed life skills we use every single day. Samantha Agoos seems to agree:

“Every day, a sea of decisions stretches before us, and it’s impossible to make a perfect choice every time. But there are many ways to improve our chances—and one particularly effective technique is critical thinking.”

The practice of improving critical thinking is best if we make it ongoing and consistent. The more we challenge ourselves to think critically, the more habitual such powerful thinking habits become.


Steps for Improving Critical Thinking

In her lesson, Samantha outlines and explains a 5-step process for boosting critical thinking as follows:

  1. Formulate the question
  2. Gather information
  3. Apply the information
  4. Consider the implications
  5. Explore other points of view

If you look closely you’ll see the similarities to our own 6D process of Solution Fluency. This is another simple but effective method for practicing and improving critical thinking:

Formulate the question (DEFINE)
Gather information (DISCOVER, DREAM)
Apply the information (DESIGN, DELIVER)
Consider the implications (DEBRIEF)
Explore other points of view (DEBRIEF)

This simple and informative free TED lesson includes a multiple choice quiz, some resources to explore, and a discussion forum about the topic. So go ahead and take some time to learn more about improving your critical thinking skills. Students can also benefit greatly from the information you’ll find here.

After that, take advantage of our Critical Thinking Workbook or our Critical Thinking Skills Cheatsheet. Both are free and make great critical thinking practice tools that will be welcome additions to your classroom. Happy learning!


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