Teaching Critical Thinking Without Destroying the Creative Thought Process
Critical thinking skills are absolutely important to survive in such a complex and chaotic society. No one can deny that in the United States we are bombarded with instant information, and challenged by all the events going on around us at all times. And, company marketing and advertising is always trying to get us to do impulse buying, and market to our emotions rather than to our critical thinking.
Now then, I have a serious question; how you teach critical thinking without destroying the creative thought process which is also needed to survive in our society?
If you’ll stop right here and go to YouTube and watch “Sir Ken Robinson, Creativity in Schools” video and then come back to this article, I’d like to continue knowing you have the knowledge to follow along with my comments here today. It’s an 18-minute video and the best one you’ll ever watch on this topic.
Okay so, Ken Robinson asks why we don’t teach creativity in schools as we should, and I am asking the opposite question with a caveat; (1) why don’t we teach critical thinking properly in our schools, and (2) how can we teach critical thinking without destroying the creative thought process which is so valuable to the individual? Easier said than done, but I do believe it’s possible.
In fact, I would say that creatively solving problems and then taking that information to form questions is a very important part of the critical thinking process. In fact, there’s a very good book on this subject called; “Critical Thinking Asking the Right Questions,” by M. Neil Brown and Stuart M. Keeley – which is well worth reading also.
If we use our creativity to help us come up with a number of questions, and then use our critical thinking skills to eliminate the silly questions, and keep the good ones, then we can combine the two, without destroying one or the other. We are teaching that they are both very important, and can be used together, and they should be used together, and they should also be challenged against each other to test to see if the answers or the questions chosen are correct. I hope you will please be thinking here as you teach critical thinking to your students.