Critical thinking

My 15 year old son studies critical thinking at school and apparently he is “outstanding” at it. When I discovered that part of the critical thinking syllabus is all about arguing your case successfully I could have told his teacher that he is a world-beater and undisputed champion of critical thinking in our family.  In fact, can’t most teenagers argue for England already? Do we really need to encourage them to do it better?

Actually yes, and whilst critical thinking is not valued as a qualification in its own right by many top universities, it is a subject that compliments others  very well and provides a base from which arguments and discussions can be constructed successfully. Critical thinking also encourages you to challenge what you read, see or hear so that you don’t blindly believe everything put in front of you.  This does not just provide an academic advantage, it is also a useful life-skill that he will be able to apply to almost everything he does. Lord help us all.

So every week when he comes home  he will be that much better at identifying and resolving dilemmas, analysing and evaluating arguments, understanding ethical issues and unravelling the complexities in his world.

We could all do with some of that.

Maybe more critical thinking and less self-critical thinking would help in the battle against the blues.


3 thoughts on “Critical thinking

  1. Absolutely agree. I do an amateur magic act which has included everything from large stage performances to kid’s parties. In all, where possible, and especially for the kids, so long as their parents approve I use critical thinking as the theme. I tell the audience that there’s nothing I’m doing that they can’t do and challenge them to think for themselves, not just “how is this done”, but also, “how would I do it?”.

    It’s gotten some great response and I’ve made a lot of little magicians in the process.

    – Phoenix

  2. Wow! that’s amazing I love magic but I can never work out what’s going on. What a wonderful talent to have. A great lesson for children too and how lovely to spawn lots of “mini-me’s”! You are truly an inspiration-do you still “do” magic? 🙂

    • Yep, I still do magic when I get the chance. But I can’t claim to have any magical talent. For me, magic comes in two forms. There are the things that take years of practice and dexterity for one. I can’t do those. Then there is what I call, “smack on the head magic”.

      For the latter, if I show you the trick, you’ll look at it in amazement. Then I’ll show you how it’s done and you’ll smack yourself on the forehead when you realize how simple it is.

      For me, the props do most of the work. Same for even the greats like David Copperfield on most of their tricks. If you’re really interested and don’t mind being “disillusioned”, a trip to the magic shop can be very educational.

      Worst way to learn though – through books. Any resource that teaches you the trick first then shows you how to make it look magical, (the “illusion” part), falls flat. You must see it work first and be amazed to get the full effect. Only then can you see how it’s done.

      I’ll be glad to help if I can.

      – Phoenix.

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