Why and How To Develop Critical Thinking Skills in Student 

develop critical thinking

How To Develop Critical Thinking Skills in Student 

Learn how you can develop critical thinking in students as it can help them greatly in their academic and personal growth. 

Critical Thinking is the ability to think clearly, actively, skillfully and rationally when provided information, then making logical choices, decision and opinions. 

In essence, critical thinking is the ability for students to be able to reason logically. 

Critical thinking is all about being an active learner rather than a passive participant. 

Critical thinkers will be able to identify, analyse and solve problems systematically rather than using their instincts and intuition. 

There are 5 different ways you can develop critical thinking in students. This article will elaborate on these 5 points. 

Additionally, the article will tell you the benefits of developing critical thinking skills in our students. 

develop critical thinking

How can we develop critical thinking? 

1 – Asking questions

The first step to developing critical thinking skills is to constantly encourage students to think out of the box. 

Encourage students to take time to review lecture notes before lectures and make deliberate thinking on the topic. 

Following that, you can ask questions during lectures and lessons to clarify thoughts. You can also further challenge your students to find out more about the topic. 

Here are some example questions you can ask your students.  

  • Is there another way we can express or convey this idea? 
  • Is there another way to solve this question? Using another method perhaps?
  • Are there any examples of this particular problem? 

2 – Listen and consider other viewpoints

Being a critical thinker means to be able to consider a specific topic in various different viewpoints. 

Thus, encourage students to listen and consider the viewpoints of others and analyze each other’s thought process. 

In addition, encourage your students to contribute to brainstorming during teamwork or project. This is so that the group gets a good insight into the topic they are looking at. 

3 – Improve their vocabulary

It can be difficult for students to express or convey their ideas with limited words. 

Therefore, increasing their vocabulary list will help them to express their ideas better in a more detailed manner. 

Some ways you can help students expand their vocabulary: 

  • Encourage students to read more books or newspapers 
  • Encourage the use of dictionaries and thesaurus
  • Introduce a new word to them every day (“Word of the Day”)

Read also: Active Recall and Spaced Repetition: How to Study Effectively. The ultimate studying method to understand concepts better and retain information for a longer time. 

4 – Use real-life problems and examples 

Using real-life examples will help students to connect the dots better and make realistic suggestions and solutions. 

Above all, it will help them to develop critical thinking overtime since they are able to make logical and supported choices. 

5 – Introduce design thinking

Design Thinking is a methodology that includes 5 stages of problem-solving. 

The stages in Design Thinking helps with developing a critical thinking mindset as the stages require a lot of detailed analysis.  

Here are the 5 main stages of Design Thinking: 

(Source: https://medium.com/mytake/design-thinking-for-everyday-life-c19f52352c0f

develop critical thinking

Why should we develop critical thinking? 

Benefits of developing critical thinking for students

1 – Enhances language and presentation skills 

Ability to think clearly and rationalise their thoughts will help them to better organise their thoughts. 

Students will then be able to improve the way they convey their ideas and have meaningful discussions with their peers. 

2 – Make more informed decisions

With the ability to analyse real-life problems and situations, the student will be able to more informed choices. 

3 – Learns to work in a team as a leader and as a participant 

Students will be able to learn how to work together as a team. They will be able to lead well as a leader and contribute when they are a member. 

4 – Improved grades and achievements 

With the help of critical thinking, students can reflect on their mistakes and understand what needs to be improved on. 

Critical thinkers can identify their strengths and weaknesses. They will be able to delegate time to work on their weaker topics to close up knowledge gaps. 

5 – Encourages creative thinking 

Real-life problems can be solved in many different ways depending on how the problem is being viewed.

For instance, critical thinkers will be able to think out of the box and provide new solutions to the problem. They might even be able to improve on existing solutions! 

In a nutshell

Critical thinkers are essential for our future as they will be the ones creating a better future for society and the world. 

Start developing these skills in our students today! 


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