Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.? ? Albert Einstein.
Ever since the British started ruling India, and even after they departed, education in India has been based on rote learning. The ability to memorise, retain and repeat facts has traditionally been valued the most. Problem-solving was limited only to solving equations or taking one or two steps to solve a theoretical problem. Experimentation never occurred beyond the walls of science labs and always had predefined outcomes.
This type of learning has limiting effects on our development. It is the very reason that we continue to get tricked and continue to vote for the wrong politicians, year after year. It is also the reason fake news thrives. It makes an entire advertisement industry capitalise on our fears and desires to make us buy products we may not need. The important question is: do we want our children to have a superior learning experience? Can we provide them with a more aware and a better life?
What is Critical Thinking?
In simple terms, ?it is the ability to think independently?.
Today, our children live in a world where they receive a massive flow of information from multiple sources ? the internet, social networks, media, friends, etc. With this vast overload of information, it becomes an essential skill for young children to learn how to correctly evaluate what they see and hear. Children need to learn, much more now than ever before, how to separate the false ideas and superfluous thoughts so they can get to the core of the message.
It is more than just thinking rationally or clearly. It is about developing the discipline of analysis. Critical thinking is formulating one?s opinions and drawing one?s own conclusions, based on reliable facts, and not on external (often false) influences.
How to equip our children with Critical Thinking?
Intelligent parents and knowledgeable educators agree that critical thinking is one of the most important foundational skills which is crucial for our children?s success in this century. And the key questions are ? How do we help our children learn it? Which are the best ways to transform learners into critical thinkers?
One of the very effective ways is PBL ? Problem Based Learning.