What do we mean by thinking?
- generating ideas
- applying knowledge and concepts
- identifying problems
- creating novel solutions
Three Different Ways of Thinking and How they Can Be Generated
Creative thinking is generated by “what if”-questions and encouraging children to answer questions in various ways.
Critical thinking is generated by questions such as: “Is there a problem with this?” “If so, what is it?” “Why did it happen this way?” “How might we do this/look at this differently?” It involves evaluating received wisdom and theories, thinking open-mindedly about them and proposing alternative solutions where necessary.
Analytical thinking is seen as a prerequisite for critical thinking and requires identifying a problem, gathering and analyzing data, hypothesizing regarding a solution and draw well-reasoned conclusions. It is generated by questions such as: “What is the problem?” “Why has it happened?” “What is the evidence?” “How can we analyze the evidence?” “What is the conclusion/How can we solve the problem?”
Teaching Thinking Skills
The skills needed to be successful thinker relate directly to open-mindedness. The student needs to use observation and interpretation (what am I seeing and what does it mean?); to analyze (what is the problem?), to draw inferences (how do the clues connect to my life?), to evaluate and explain (what do others think and how can I explain to them what I think?) and to use meta-cognition throughout to reflect on their own thinking process (where did I see this problem before and how did I solve it?).
(Source: Hedges, Laurence [et al]: “Approaches to Learning” – A Practical Guide. Teacher Book, International Baccalaureate Organization: 2012, 74ff.)