Critical Thinkers

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Critical Thinkers

22 September 2017

 
 

This week two things have dominated my thoughts. Firstly, I’m celebrating (with mummy tears) the last week of Year 12 for my youngest son. This has caused me to reflect on the hopes, dreams and wishes I had for him as a Kindy student almost 13 years ago. The second thing that has been on my mind is a polarising debate over same-sex marriage. The variety and intensity of reactions to this topic have surprised me. I have had tradespeople, postal workers and neighbours all passionately sharing their points of view. What I’ve noticed is that many of these people are unable to articulate a reason for their stance. They are quoting facts, statistics and opinions that they have heard in the media and in the community. What concerns me most is that many people appear to accept opinions indiscriminately without exploring issues for themselves. One of my greatest wishes for my son, and in fact for all of my students, is that he learns to become a critical thinker – a thinker who can logically apply a Christian worldview to every day decisions. Critical thinking involves evaluating information, looking at issues from different perspectives, reasoning dispassionately, being open to new ideas and insisting that all claims are backed by credible evidence.

 
In a world filled with fake news, advertorials, questionable internet sources and blatant persuasion, critical thinking is an essential life skill. As parents and teachers there are many things that we can do to support the development of these thinking skills.
 
What chance do our children have of spotting propaganda in a world that bombards them with competing views?
 
• We need to openly discuss biases and perspectives, and empower our children to have a credible and informed voice. • Instead of telling our kids what to believe, we need to take the time to explain why we hold certain beliefs, modelling the process of logical reasoning. • We need to encourage our kids to seek clarity and evidence rather than accepting at face value everything they see, read and hear.
 
A critical thinker is more ably equipped to discern right from wrong, champion just causes and change the world for the better. Proverbs 14:15 tells us that ‘The gullible believe anything they’re told; but the prudent sift and weigh every word.’ It is my prayer that, as we work together, we succeed in raising up prudent young men and women.

 
 
 
 

Deb Cooper

Head of Primary

 

mel lemke

 

 
 
 

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