Critical thinking skills for high school students

The importance of teaching critical thinking to students June 30th We live in an age where we have more information at our fingertips than ever before and more opportunity to communicate with people across the globe. But how to we discern what information is correct, relevant and unbiased? How do we know when to accept what someone is saying, and when to question it?

Critical thinking skills for high school students

Retired High-School Teacher Why Public Schools Don't Teach Critical Thinking -- Part 1 While ensuring students' physical safety is a school's first order of priority, the school should be no less vigilant in safeguarding them from propaganda that will assail them for the rest of their lives.

Proceed at your own risk.

Critical thinking skills for high school students

Don't accept as true what you're about to read. Some of it is fact; some of it is opinion disguised as fact; and the rest is liberal, conservative, or mainstream propaganda.

Make sure you know which is which before choosing to believe it. Students are exposed to so many different viewpoints on- and offline and so prone to accepting whatever they read, that they run the very real risk of becoming brainwashed.

If it's on a computer screen, it becomes Holy Writ, sacrosanct, immutable, beyond question or doubt. Not only egregious forms of indoctrination may target unsuspecting young minds, but also the more artfully contrived variety, whose insinuating soft-sell subtlety and silken appeals ingratiatingly weave their spell to lull the credulous into accepting their wares.

Links for High School Teachers

To prevent this from happening, every school in America should teach the arts of critical thinking and critical reading, so that a critical spirit becomes a permanent possession of every student and pervades the teaching of every course in America. This would be time well-spent in protecting students from the contagion of toxins on- or offline.

While ensuring students' physical safety is a school's first order of priority, the school should be no less vigilant in safeguarding them from propaganda that will assail them for the rest of their lives. Everyone wants to sell students a viewpoint, against which schools should teach them the art of protecting themselves.

Teaching students how to be their own persons by abandoning group-think and developing the courage to think for themselves should begin from the very first day of high school. More important than all the information they will learn during these four crucial years will be how they critically process that information to either accept or reject it.

The essence of an education - the ability to think critically and protect oneself from falsehood and lies - may once have been taught in American schools, but, with few exceptions, is today a lost art.

This is unfortunate for it is precisely this skill that is of transcendent importance for students in defending themselves. Computers are wonderful things, but, like everything else in this world, they must be approached with great caution.

Their potential for good can suddenly become an angel of darkness that takes over their minds. The school owes its students to teach them how to think, not what to think; to question whatever they read, and never to accept any claim blindly; to suspend judgment until they've heard all sides of a question, and interrogate whatever claims to be true, since the truth can withstand any scrutiny.

Critical thinking is life's indispensable survival skill, compared to which everything else is an educational frill! Apart from a few teachers who do train their students in critical thinking, most teachers do not for one simple reason -- there is no time.

State education departments mandate that so much material has to be covered that critical thinking cannot be taught, nor can the courses themselves be critically presented.

In order to cover the curriculum, courses must be taught quickly, superficially, and uncritically, the infallible way of boring students. This is a great source of frustration to teachers, who would rather teach their courses in depth in order to give students an informed understanding of the issues involved, the controversies surrounding these issues, the social and political resistance their field of inquiry may have encountered, and its cultural impact upon society; in short, the splash and color of its unfolding drama.

At the same time, teachers are forever having to keep one eye on the clock to finish their course by the end of the semester, when there is scarcely time to teach the "official" viewpoint, much less the controversy surrounding each question. This omission of alternative theories and their attendant controversies leaves students with the mistaken impression that there is little if any disagreement among scholars about what they are taught, as though what is presented is self-evident truth.

The problem, of course, is that it may not be the truth at all, but only one side of a raging decades-old debate that happens to be the "official" view of the moment, with other views unacknowledged, much less discussed.High school students can develop critical thinking skills via study of textbooks in conjunction with classroom activities.

Reading strategies include paraphrasing information, evaluating the author's claim and establishing a position of their own. In a training on “integrative thinking” at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, Watt finally found the tools he needed to develop students’ critical thinking.

Several Ontario school boards (the Canadian version of school districts) are now supporting training in the effort. Critical thinking is a skill that students develop gradually as they progress in school.

This skill becomes more important in higher grades, but some students find it difficult to understand the concept of critical thinking. Aug 07,  · Imagine the effect on students of being deprived not only of critical thinking, but also of learning even one viewpoint because the curriculum that would have prepared them for high school is .

The High School Teacher Bundle includes instructional design materials that can be adapted for high school students. It also includes a book designed to help the teacher begin to internalize the foundations of critical thinking.

Critical Thinking Instruction in Greater Los Angeles Area High Schools Critical Thinking: Lessons from a Continuing Professional Development Initiative in a London Comprehensive Secondary School Conferences & Events.

Why Public Schools Don't Teach Critical Thinking -- Part 1 | HuffPost