Critical Thinking Skills:
The ability to think critically is one that must be encouraged in all individuals as this is an opportunity to problem solving and enables one to function in today’s society. According to Scriven & Paul (1987) as they presented at the 8th Yearly International Conference on Critical Thinking and Education Reform suggests; that critical thinking is the process where by individuals skillfully and actively conceive, apply, synthesize, analyses and evaluate information in an intellectually disciplined process. The information which is processed is generated through various means such as, experience, observation, reasoning, reflection and communication leading the individual to action and belief (The Foundation For Critical Thinking, n.d.). Additionally, individuals who think critically ask questions about the idea, facts, conclusions or thing before accepting the information. Analysis forms part of the critical thinking process and as a result this discussion focuses on how analysis is key to the process of critical thinking using ICT.
Area of Focus - Analysis:
Analysis is where the information received is taken apart or broken down in order to gain a better understanding of the nature of something, how it functions and is interrelated (Process Policy.com, n.d.). The process of analysis is where materials are taken apart and carefully examined to form a conclusion. This process is effectively conducted using divergent questioning strategy for example, who, what, where, when, how, why. Within the classroom, teachers can use ICT tools to help children develop critical thinking skills. The teacher can use the computer and internet to conduct an activity and allow children to participate. For example she can name a topic and the children would have to research the topic and answer questions regarding the topic. In order to answer the questions the students will first have to do an analysis of the information they found and then make conclusions in order to answer the questions. Mansbach (2015) suggest that there are different levels of thinking such as low levels and high levels of thinking. The analysis in critical thinking falls within the high levels of thinking and students are required to say what is taking place, the effects and give an explanation of why or how.
How Students can develop this Skill of Analysis:
Analysis forms part of the process of critical thinking. Critical thinking engages children in higher-levels of thinking which allows them to process, predict, reason and analyse, information. The children are then able to make inferences and conclusions as they reflect and think independently on what was discovered (Study.com, 2018). In this world where technology is fast advancing the use of ICT within the classroom takes learning to another level. I believe that ICT makes learning easy and fun for both teachers and students. ICT tools can be used to socialize, communicate, research information, play games and take part in educational learning activities that are geared towards developing critical thinking. When children engage in activities using ICT tools they can be encouraged to brainstorm and analyse various strategies of learning when participating in learning experiences that require them to think and analyse these experiences.
Example of an Activity for Developing Critical Thinking Skills using Analysis:
Understanding spatial proprieties and relationships is a critical concept that children need to learn and solving puzzles is an excellent way to enhance logical reasoning, problem solving and spatial relationships skills (Jump Start, 2018). In an effort to help children develop the skill analysis skill, I will use an activity using puzzles. Activities involving the use of puzzles have proven to be very effective to encourage higher-levels of thinking and analysis. This activity caters to children 5 years old and can be done as an individual, peer or group activity and will be done using computers. The children will use critical thinking using analysis to determine where each piece fits in the puzzle. Step 1. The children will each choose a puzzle and a picture of what the finished puzzle should look like after completion will be displayed on the screen of the computer. Step 2. Children will then be told to use the mouse to put the pieces together to make the picture shown. Step 3. The children will then be left on their own to figure out the puzzle and match the pieces to fit correctly together. Step 4. I will observe and provide guidance and support to the children. Step 5. Open ended questions will be asked and prompts given to assist children in putting the puzzle together. Step 6. The children will then display their finish puzzle and describe what the puzzle looks like as well as share their experience with their peers. Step 7. The children will be assessed using divergent questioning which will include high order thinking questions for example: Why do you think they made the puzzle into pieces or are all the pieces the same shape or do you think it is easier to fit the puzzle together using the computer or at the table? The children will have to employ the skill of analysis and think critically to answer these questions.
Jump Start. (2018). A puzzling problem.
Mansbach, J. (2015). Using technology to develop students’ critical thinking skills.
Process Policy.com (n.d.). What does analysis mean?
Study.com. (2018). Promoting critical thinking skills for preschoolers.
The Foundation for Critical Thinking. (n.d.). Defining critical thinking.
These solutions may offer step-by-step problem-solving explanations or good writing examples that include modern styles of formatting and construction of bibliographies out of text citations and references. Students may use these solutions for personal skill-building and practice. Unethical use is strictly forbidden.Your description of critical thinking is elaborative and detailed. Your argument is quite informative, for instance, you have noted that people should be encouraged to think critically as one of the best ways of solving day-to-day problems and attaining sustainable social and personal developments....
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