Teaching Critical Thinking

Should schools do more to foster analytical skills?


As standardized tests assume a larger and larger role in elementary and secondary schools, many education specialists and corporate hiring managers are expressing concern about students' ability to engage in critical thinking. Also known as “higher-order thinking,” it includes the capacity to examine and evaluate ideas, solve problems, question assumptions, identify biases and work collaboratively. Warnings from technology analysts that computers could soon take over all routine jobs have led some education experts to conclude that teaching inquiry and problem-solving skills might best prepare students for the 21st-century workplace. The new Common Core standards, which many states are adopting to set nationally consistent learning goals for math and language arts, and another multistate initiative, the Next Generation Science Standards, call for more concept-based learning and ...

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