For children today, learning to think critically remains the most important skill to ensure they have a better future. In today’s rapidly changing world, every child needs to be able to do more than repeat a list of facts. It is necessary that children become critical thinkers who can make sense of any information given to them, analyze, contrast, compare, make inferences and successfully generate higher order thinking skills.
You may ask, what is critical thinking? Any parent should know that critical thinking comprises of a number of various skills than help children to learn how to make decisions. It is a unique ability that pushes children to evaluate information to determine whether it is wrong or right. To think about a problem or an issue critically means to be open minded and consider alternate ways of looking for solutions. As any child grows into a teenage, critical thinking skills will help to make the right judgments independently.
If you want your children to be good at thinking, then they must believe that thinking is fun, which pushes them to be good at it. A great way to ensure that you foster your child’s critical thinking skills the right way is to enroll the in a Montessori school that has ample experience in this field.
Montessori Education and Critical Thinking
Often, people praise the Montessori system for being a strong and comprehensive pathway for early education of children. Enrolling your child in Montessori education definitely brings a truck full of benefits. In addition to promoting peace, mutual respect, it encourages creativity, innovation, community building and a lot more.
However, Montessori education shines in another aspect as well, which is supporting critical thinking at an early stage and the development of problem solving skills. It not only polishes the critical thinking of your child but also boosts other aspects like cognitive learning.
Thinking about enrolling your child in Milton Montessori not only helps to polish their critical thinking but also boosts cognitive learning and much more. Usually at Milton Montessori, critical thinking is introduced to toddlers between 18 months and years. Sparking curiosity and introducing children at this early stage helps to keep them curious and open their mind to explore other options to form and analyze ideas through exploring. At our Montessori school, we work on developing your child’s critical thinking by:
1. Providing Opportunities for Learning through Play
Generally, it is during play time that children are forced to be more curious and explore new effects. Within a typical Montessori classroom there are over a hundred developmental appropriate learning activities. Each one presents abstract ideas in the most concrete form. Play activities like puzzle making, drawing and others allows children to try out different approaches, which raises their curiosity levels and pushes them to think of solutions.
2. Individualized Learning to Fit the Interests of Each Child
The entire structure of our Montessori system right from the curriculum to the set up of the class ensures that teachers interact with children and make sure they interact with other children of the same age group. When a child interacts with other students under the same age group, it encourages any child to discover, make mistakes and learn. Along with interacting with others, you should know that our teachers in the classroom are more like guiders who keenly observe each child’s abilities, interests, and prepare series of lessons accordingly to ensure they move to the next level. The materials themselves in a classroom are designed in smart ways to allow a child to recognize that something is not right and correct it themselves.
3. Uninterrupted Learning Time
When teachers leave children free to pursue their interests when it comes to learning, they learn faster and tend to retain the information compared to when a teacher directs the learning activities. Setting up uninterrupted learning times means that your child can pursue his own interest in depth and explore more options. This fosters critical thinking skills because it encourages him to experiment with new concepts.
Of course, there are times where you as a parent may have to step in. At such times it is helpful that you model your own critical thinking according to your child. As you work on their decision making process, you can push to ask questions like “why,” and “what.” Keep in mind that children also learn by observing you as a parent. You need to take time and allow your child to navigate problems and come up with solutions, which is integral to develop your child’s critical thinking in the long term.