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Boosting Creativity and Critical Thinking with ABCya Games for Kids
In today’s digital age, finding educational and engaging activities for kids can be a challenge. With the increasing popularity of online gaming, it is essential to provide children with options that not only entertain but also stimulate their minds. ABCya Games for Kids offers a wide range of interactive games designed to boost creativity and critical thinking skills in young learners. In this article, we will explore how these games can be a valuable tool in your child’s educational journey.
Enhancing Creativity through Interactive Gameplay
One of the key benefits of ABCya Games for Kids is their ability to enhance creativity in children. The platform offers a variety of games that encourage imaginative thinking and problem-solving. Whether it’s designing virtual worlds, creating artwork, or composing music, these games provide an outlet for kids to express their creativity in a fun and interactive way.
By engaging in activities that require creative thinking, children develop important skills such as brainstorming, innovation, and resourcefulness. They learn to think outside the box and explore different solutions to challenges presented within the games. This type of open-ended gameplay fosters creativity by allowing children to experiment with ideas without fear of failure or judgment.
Developing Critical Thinking Skills through Educational Challenges
In addition to nurturing creativity, ABCya Games for Kids also focus on developing critical thinking skills. Many of the games on the platform are designed with educational challenges that require strategic planning, logical reasoning, and problem-solving abilities.
These games often present players with puzzles or scenarios where they must analyze information, make informed decisions, and strategize accordingly. By engaging in these activities regularly, children develop essential cognitive skills such as analytical thinking, decision-making, spatial reasoning, and pattern recognition.
The platform offers games across various subjects like math, science, language arts, and more. This ensures that children are exposed to a wide range of educational content while honing their critical thinking abilities. The interactive nature of these games also makes learning more engaging and enjoyable for kids, encouraging them to actively participate and explore new concepts.
Encouraging Collaboration and Communication Skills
ABCya Games for Kids not only focus on individual learning but also promote collaboration and communication skills. Many of the games allow children to play with their peers or interact with online communities, fostering teamwork and social interaction.
Through multiplayer features, children can work together towards common goals, solve problems collectively, and exchange ideas. This collaborative environment encourages effective communication, empathy, and cooperation – skills that are vital in both academic and real-life settings.
Moreover, the platform provides a safe space for kids to interact with others online while under parental supervision. This ensures a controlled environment where children can practice positive communication skills while enjoying the benefits of a virtual community.
Personalized Learning Experience for Every Child
One of the significant advantages of ABCya Games for Kids is its ability to offer a personalized learning experience for every child. The platform provides various difficulty levels within each game, allowing kids to progress at their own pace.
By tailoring the gameplay to individual needs, children are challenged enough to stay engaged without feeling overwhelmed or bored. The adaptive nature of these games ensures that each child receives appropriate content based on their skill level and learning abilities.
Furthermore, ABCya Games for Kids offer detailed progress reports that allow parents and educators to track a child’s performance. These reports provide valuable insights into a child’s strengths and weaknesses in different subjects or areas of critical thinking. By analyzing this data, parents can identify areas requiring improvement and provide targeted support accordingly.
In conclusion, ABCya Games for Kids serve as an excellent resource for boosting creativity and critical thinking in young learners. Through interactive gameplay, educational challenges, collaboration opportunities, and personalized experiences, these games provide an engaging platform for children’s holistic development. By incorporating ABCya Games for Kids into your child’s educational routine, you are providing them with a valuable tool to enhance their cognitive skills and foster a love for learning.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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- F-10 curriculum
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- Critical and Creative Thinking
Critical and Creative Thinking (Version 8.4)
In the Australian Curriculum, students develop capability in critical and creative thinking as they learn to generate and evaluate knowledge, clarify concepts and ideas, seek possibilities, consider alternatives and solve problems. Critical and creative thinking involves students thinking broadly and deeply using skills, behaviours and dispositions such as reason, logic, resourcefulness, imagination and innovation in all learning areas at school and in their lives beyond school.
Thinking that is productive, purposeful and intentional is at the centre of effective learning. By applying a sequence of thinking skills, students develop an increasingly sophisticated understanding of the processes they can use whenever they encounter problems, unfamiliar information and new ideas. In addition, the progressive development of knowledge about thinking and the practice of using thinking strategies can increase students’ motivation for, and management of, their own learning. They become more confident and autonomous problem-solvers and thinkers.
Responding to the challenges of the twenty-first century – with its complex environmental, social and economic pressures – requires young people to be creative, innovative, enterprising and adaptable, with the motivation, confidence and skills to use critical and creative thinking purposefully.
This capability combines two types of thinking: critical thinking and creative thinking. Though the two are not interchangeable, they are strongly linked, bringing complementary dimensions to thinking and learning.
Critical thinking is at the core of most intellectual activity that involves students learning to recognise or develop an argument, use evidence in support of that argument, draw reasoned conclusions, and use information to solve problems. Examples of critical thinking skills are interpreting, analysing, evaluating, explaining, sequencing, reasoning, comparing, questioning, inferring, hypothesising, appraising, testing and generalising.
Creative thinking involves students learning to generate and apply new ideas in specific contexts, seeing existing situations in a new way, identifying alternative explanations, and seeing or making new links that generate a positive outcome. This includes combining parts to form something original, sifting and refining ideas to discover possibilities, constructing theories and objects, and acting on intuition. The products of creative endeavour can involve complex representations and images, investigations and performances, digital and computer-generated output, or occur as virtual reality.
Concept formation is the mental activity that helps us compare, contrast and classify ideas, objects, and events. Concept learning can be concrete or abstract and is closely allied with metacognition. What has been learnt can be applied to future examples. It underpins the organising elements.
Dispositions such as inquisitiveness, reasonableness, intellectual flexibility, open- and fair-mindedness, a readiness to try new ways of doing things and consider alternatives, and persistence promote and are enhanced by critical and creative thinking.
The key ideas for Critical and Creative Thinking are organised into four interrelated elements in the learning continuum, as shown in the figure below.
Inquiring – identifying, exploring and organising information and ideas
Organising elements for Critical and Creative Thinking
The elements are not a taxonomy of thinking. Rather, each makes its own contribution to learning and needs to be explicitly and simultaneously developed.
This element involves students developing inquiry skills.
Students pose questions and identify and clarify information and ideas, and then organise and process information. They use questioning to investigate and analyse ideas and issues, make sense of and assess information and ideas, and collect, compare and evaluate information from a range of sources. In developing and acting with critical and creative thinking, students:
- pose questions
- identify and clarify information and ideas
- organise and process information.
Generating ideas, possibilities and actions
This element involves students creating ideas and actions, and considering and expanding on known actions and ideas.
Students imagine possibilities and connect ideas through considering alternatives, seeking solutions and putting ideas into action. They explore situations and generate alternatives to guide actions and experiment with and assess options and actions when seeking solutions. In developing and acting with critical and creative thinking, students:
- imagine possibilities and connect ideas
- consider alternatives
- seek solutions and put ideas into action.
Reflecting on thinking and processes
This element involves students reflecting on, adjusting and explaining their thinking and identifying the thinking behind choices, strategies and actions taken.
Students think about thinking (metacognition), reflect on actions and processes, and transfer knowledge into new contexts to create alternatives or open up possibilities. They apply knowledge gained in one context to clarify another. In developing and acting with critical and creative thinking, students:
- think about thinking (metacognition)
- reflect on processes
- transfer knowledge into new contexts.
Analysing, synthesising and evaluating reasoning and procedures
This element involves students analysing, synthesising and evaluating the reasoning and procedures used to find solutions, evaluate and justify results or inform courses of action.
Students identify, consider and assess the logic and reasoning behind choices. They differentiate components of decisions made and actions taken and assess ideas, methods and outcomes against criteria. In developing and acting with critical and creative thinking, students:
- apply logic and reasoning
- draw conclusions and design a course of action
- evaluate procedures and outcomes.
Critical and Creative Thinking in the learning areas
The imparting of knowledge (content) and the development of thinking skills are accepted today as primary purposes of education. The explicit teaching and embedding of critical and creative thinking throughout the learning areas encourages students to engage in higher order thinking. By using logic and imagination, and by reflecting on how they best tackle issues, tasks and challenges, students are increasingly able to select from a range of thinking strategies and use them selectively and spontaneously in an increasing range of learning contexts.
Activities that foster critical and creative thinking should include both independent and collaborative tasks, and entail some sort of transition or tension between ways of thinking. They should be challenging and engaging, and contain approaches that are within the ability range of the learners, but also challenge them to think logically, reason, be open-minded, seek alternatives, tolerate ambiguity, inquire into possibilities, be innovative risk-takers and use their imagination.
Critical and creative thinking can be encouraged simultaneously through activities that integrate reason, logic, imagination and innovation; for example, focusing on a topic in a logical, analytical way for some time, sorting out conflicting claims, weighing evidence, thinking through possible solutions, and then, following reflection and perhaps a burst of creative energy, coming up with innovative and considered responses. Critical and creative thinking are communicative processes that develop flexibility and precision. Communication is integral to each of the thinking processes. By sharing thinking, visualisation and innovation, and by giving and receiving effective feedback, students learn to value the diversity of learning and communication styles.
The learning area or subject with the highest proportion of content descriptions tagged with Critical and Creative Thinking is placed first in the list.
F-6/7 Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS)
In the F–6/7 Australian Curriculum: Humanities and Social Sciences, students develop critical and creative thinking capability as they learn how to build discipline-specific knowledge about history, geography, civics and citizenship, and economics and business. Students learn and practise critical and creative thinking as they pose questions, research, analyse, evaluate and communicate information, concepts and ideas.
Students identify, explore and determine questions to clarify social issues and events, and apply reasoning, interpretation and analytical skills to data and information. Critical thinking is essential to the historical inquiry process because it requires the ability to question sources, interpret the past from incomplete documentation, assess reliability when selecting information from resources, and develop an argument using evidence. Students develop critical thinking through geographical investigations that help them think logically when evaluating and using evidence, testing explanations, analysing arguments and making decisions, and when thinking deeply about questions that do not have straightforward answers. Students learn to critically evaluate texts about people, places, events, processes and issues, including consumer and financial, for shades of meaning, feeling and opinion, by identifying subjective language, bias, fact and opinion, and how language and images can be used to manipulate meaning. They develop civic knowledge by considering multiple perspectives and alternatives, and reflecting on actions, values and attitudes, thus informing their decision-making and the strategies they choose to negotiate and resolve differences.
Students develop creative thinking through the examination of social, political, legal, civic, environmental and economic issues, past and present, that that are contested, do not have obvious or straightforward answers, and that require problem-solving and innovative solutions. Creative thinking is important in developing creative questions, speculation and interpretations during inquiry. Students are encouraged to be curious and imaginative in investigations and fieldwork, and to explore relevant imaginative texts.
Critical and creative thinking is essential for imagining probable, possible and preferred futures in relation to social, environmental, economic and civic sustainability and issues. Students think creatively about appropriate courses of action and develop plans for personal and collective action. They develop enterprising behaviours and capabilities to imagine possibilities, consider alternatives, test hypotheses, and seek and create innovative solutions, and think creatively about the impact of issues on their own lives and the lives of others.
In the Australian Curriculum: History, critical thinking is essential to the historical inquiry process because it requires the ability to question sources, interpret the past from incomplete documentation, develop an argument using evidence, and assess reliability when selecting information from resources. Creative thinking is important in developing new interpretations to explain aspects of the past that are contested or not well understood.
In the Australian Curriculum: Geography, students develop critical and creative thinking as they investigate geographical information, concepts and ideas through inquiry-based learning. They develop and practise critical and creative thinking by using strategies that help them think logically when evaluating and using evidence, testing explanations, analysing arguments and making decisions, and when thinking deeply about questions that do not have straightforward answers. Students learn the value and process of developing creative questions and the importance of speculation. Students are encouraged to be curious and imaginative in investigations and fieldwork. The geography curriculum also stimulates students to think creatively about the ways that the places and spaces they use might be better designed, and about possible, probable and preferable futures.
7-10 Civics and Citizenship
In the Australian Curriculum: Civics and Citizenship, students develop critical thinking skills in their investigation of Australia’s democratic system of government. They learn to apply decision-making processes and use strategies to negotiate and resolve differences. Students develop critical and creative thinking through the examination of political, legal and social issues that do not have obvious or straightforward answers and that require problem-solving and innovative solutions. Students consider multiple perspectives and alternatives, think creatively about appropriate courses of action and develop plans for action. The Australian Curriculum: Civics and Citizenship stimulates students to think creatively about the impact of civic issues on their own lives and the lives of others, and to consider how these issues might be addressed.
7-10 Economics and Business
In the Australian Curriculum: Economics and Business, students develop their critical and creative thinking as they identify, explore and determine questions to clarify economics and business issues and/or events and apply reasoning, interpretation and analytical skills to data and/or information. They develop enterprising behaviours and capabilities to imagine possibilities, consider alternatives, test hypotheses, and seek and create innovative solutions to economics and business issues and/or events.
In the Australian Curriculum: The Arts, critical and creative thinking is integral to making and responding to artworks. In creating artworks, students draw on their curiosity, imagination and thinking skills to pose questions and explore ideas, spaces, materials and technologies. They consider possibilities and make choices that assist them to take risks and express their ideas, concepts, thoughts and feelings creatively. They consider and analyse the motivations, intentions and possible influencing factors and biases that may be evident in artworks they make to which they respond. They offer and receive effective feedback about past and present artworks and performances, and communicate and share their thinking, visualisation and innovations to a variety of audiences.
In the Australian Curriculum: Technologies, students develop capability in critical and creative thinking as they imagine, generate, develop and critically evaluate ideas. They develop reasoning and the capacity for abstraction through challenging problems that do not have straightforward solutions. Students analyse problems, refine concepts and reflect on the decision-making process by engaging in systems, design and computational thinking. They identify, explore and clarify technologies information and use that knowledge in a range of situations.
Students think critically and creatively about possible, probable and preferred futures. They consider how data, information, systems, materials, tools and equipment (past and present) impact on our lives, and how these elements might be better designed and managed. Experimenting, drawing, modelling, designing and working with digital tools, equipment and software helps students to build their visual and spatial thinking and to create solutions, products, services and environments.
Health and Physical Education
In the Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education (HPE), students develop their ability to think logically, critically and creatively in response to a range of health and physical education issues, ideas and challenges. They learn how to critically evaluate evidence related to the learning area and the broad range of associated media and other messages to creatively generate and explore original alternatives and possibilities. In the HPE curriculum, students’ critical and creative thinking skills are developed through learning experiences that encourage them to pose questions and seek solutions to health issues by exploring and designing appropriate strategies to promote and advocate personal, social and community health and wellbeing. Students also use critical thinking to examine their own beliefs and challenge societal factors that negatively influence their own and others’ identity, health and wellbeing.
The Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education also provides learning opportunities that support creative thinking through dance making, games creation and technique refinement. Students develop understanding of the processes associated with creating movement and reflect on their body’s responses and their feelings about these movement experiences. Including a critical inquiry approach is one of the five propositions that have shaped the HPE curriculum.
Critical and creative thinking are essential to developing analytical and evaluative skills and understandings in the Australian Curriculum: English. Students use critical and creative thinking through listening to, reading, viewing, creating and presenting texts, interacting with others, and when they recreate and experiment with literature, and discuss the aesthetic or social value of texts. Through close analysis of text and through reading, viewing and listening, students critically analyse the opinions, points of view and unstated assumptions embedded in texts. In discussion, students develop critical thinking as they share personal responses and express preferences for specific texts, state and justify their points of view and respond to the views of others.
In creating their own written, visual and multimodal texts, students also explore the influence or impact of subjective language, feeling and opinion on the interpretation of text. Students also use and develop their creative thinking capability when they consider the innovations made by authors, imagine possibilities, plan, explore and create ideas for imaginative texts based on real or imagined events. Students explore the creative possibilities of the English language to represent novel ideas.
Learning in the Australian Curriculum: Languages enables students to interact with people and ideas from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, which enhances critical thinking and reflection, and encourages creative, divergent and imaginative thinking. By learning to notice, connect, compare and analyse aspects of the target language, students develop critical, analytical and problem-solving skills.
In the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics, students develop critical and creative thinking as they learn to generate and evaluate knowledge, ideas and possibilities, and use them when seeking solutions. Engaging students in reasoning and thinking about solutions to problems and the strategies needed to find these solutions are core parts of the Australian Curriculum: Mathematics.
Students are encouraged to be critical thinkers when justifying their choice of a calculation strategy or identifying relevant questions during a statistical investigation. They are encouraged to look for alternative ways to approach mathematical problems; for example, identifying when a problem is similar to a previous one, drawing diagrams or simplifying a problem to control some variables.
In the Australian Curriculum: Science, students develop capability in critical and creative thinking as they learn to generate and evaluate knowledge, ideas and possibilities, and use them when seeking new pathways or solutions. In the science learning area, critical and creative thinking are embedded in the skills of posing questions, making predictions, speculating, solving problems through investigation, making evidence-based decisions, and analysing and evaluating evidence. Students develop understandings of concepts through active inquiry that involves planning and selecting appropriate information, evaluating sources of information to formulate conclusions and to critically reflect on their own and the collective process.
Creative thinking enables the development of ideas that are new to the individual, and this is intrinsic to the development of scientific understanding. Scientific inquiry promotes critical and creative thinking by encouraging flexibility and open-mindedness as students speculate about their observations of the world and the ability to use and design new processes to achieve this. Students’ conceptual understanding becomes more sophisticated as they actively acquire an increasingly scientific view of their world and the ability to examine it from new perspectives.
In the Australian Curriculum: Work Studies, Years 9–10, students develop an ability to think logically, critically and creatively in relation to concepts of work and workplaces contexts. These capabilities are developed through an emphasis on critical thinking processes that encourage students to question assumptions and empower them to create their own understanding of work and personal and workplace learning.
Students’ creative thinking skills are developed and practised through learning opportunities that encourage innovative, entrepreneurial and project-based activities, supporting creative responses to workplace, professional and industrial problems. Students also learn to respond to strategic and problem-based challenges using creative thinking. For example, a student could evaluate possible job scenarios based on local labour market data and personal capabilities.
Critical thinking helps to develop personal’s ability to think consciously. One of the most important things is to enhance critical thinking in college English classrooms. This study is an attempt to investigate college English teachers’ perceptions and challenges in teaching critical thinking strategies. This research aims to investigate the college English teaching methods, approaches and strategies in English classes. The experiment was performed in the first semester from September 2021 to January 2022, with 64 students in Zhejiang Yuexiu University, China. There were thirty-two experimental participants and thirty-two traditional learning participants. All learners received the same content of learning, but through different methods of education. Students better demonstrated critical thinking in a post-strategy instruction assessment than those students who had not received any strategy instruction. The study used qualitative and quantitative methods that examined English teachers’ awareness of critical thinking as a teachable skill. The data was collected through a questionnaire, observation and interview. Both college English teachers and students participated in this research. The results demonstrated that teachers accept that the critical thinking skills make the course more meaningful for learners. Teachers convinced that critical thinking should definitely be encouraged and it should become a habit in students.
Critical Thinking , Critical Thinking Skills , Teaching Strategies , The Com-ponents of Critical Thinking , College English Teachers
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The world is becoming more developed in teaching and all the more complicated. The 21 st century needs people capable to regular intensive implementation of innovative activity in order to keep competitiveness in a dynamically changing world that is undergoing a significant increase in amount of new information.
The important life skill is to develop the ability to think critically. It is obviously that it’s a daily occurrence to practicing critical thinking strategies during the lesson. There is a rational environment in the college for teaching and practicing critical thinking with the goal of developing life long habits of mind.
Statement of the Problem
Critical thinking is considered as quality thinking. It helps learners improve their communicational skills. Critical thinking helps students to deal with attitudes and ideas much easier. As students, they must be able to think critically and rationally. Unfortunately, critical thinking strategies are not consistently taught, that is why a problem exists nowadays. Mendelman required when a lot of children grow up engaged with essentially passive activities, teaching critical thinking is one of the most important parts during the lesson ( Mendelman, 2007 ). When learning the English language, students should accept cultural differences. All cultures and languages differ from each other. It’s pretty hard to think in the target language as the same with your mother tongue. That is why, critical thinking skills enchase learners to switch between languages quicklier. Their brains seamlessly switch between languages.
Purpose of the Study
The main aim of this research is to analyze current literature and examine strategies for developing critical thinking skills in college students. Towards this goal, this research explores how to investigate effective teaching practices that can be integrated into college English classroom teaching.
The main research questions of the study:
· Are college English teachers aware of the importance of critical thinking?
· How do college English teachers promote learners to think critically and practice questioning strategies in college English classroom?
· What meta-cognitive processes are developed when performing critical thinking in the college English classroom?
· What challenges and barriers do the teachers face while teaching critical thinking skills?
· What assessment methods should English teachers adopt to enhance critical thinking skills for learners?
2. Literature Review
The pressure on educational institutions and educators at all levels to provide quantitative assessment of educational progress through standardized testing has been building for decades ( Snyder & Dillow, 2012 ).
Nowadays faculties at universities are being required to supply documentation demonstrating that learning is taking place. Measuring and documenting studying is a hard process, but the easiest way is to assess the accumulation of facts or figures. The tradition way of lessons and lectures at the colleges and universities leads teachers to use lectures as the primary means of communicating content and focus tasks on memorization and lower-order thinking skills ( Duron et al., 2006 ). A lot of teachers require to teach students critical thinking skills. Unfortunately, most students do not master the skill ( Fisher, 2007 ). Paul and colleagues found that many teachers possess only a vague understanding of what critical thinking is and some knowledge on how to develop critical thinking skills in students. The Paul, Elder, and Bartell researched that 89% of the sampled teachers identified critical thinking as a primary objective, only 9% included different tasks during the lessons that were clearly designed to promote critical thinking on a typical lesson ( Paul & Elder, 2006 ). A lot of studies have found that many teachers were lack of basic knowledge of critical thinking. Some teachers don’t have any ideas how to incorporate thinking into lesson plans, that is why critical thinking can’t be developed in students ( Bataineh & Alazzi, 2009 ; Innabi & El Sheikh, 2007 ; Lauer, 2005 ; Stapleton, 2011 ; Thurman, 2009 ).
Alwehaibi (2012) confirmed that critical thinking and the success of students could be improved if schools adopt and integrate strategies and techniques that have been identified as helpful in developing critical thinking into various courses. Abrami and colleagues (2008) researched that teachers who received specific training on methods to teach critical thinking were more effective in developing critical thinking in students than teachers who had no prior training.
Key components of critical thinking
According to Black (2012) critical thinking included a range of skills but not “...all higher order thinking is critical thinking”. This idea is that analytical, logical, and meta-cognitive skills are essential components of critical thinking that steer thinking towards critical thinking, but they do not equal critical thinking. Mulnix (2010) who supported the idea discussed the importance of identifying the underlying skills of critical thinking in order to focus on enhancing those skills. Some of the higher order thinking skills and components that are central to developing critical thinking are briefly pointed out below.
· Problem-solving skills
Problem-solving skills are most important elements of critical thinking. Problem solving is a major skill that involves the skill of reasoning and many other underlying skills. The major difference between problem-solving and critical thinking is that “the solution to a problem (generally, spatial and/or numerical) replaces the argument”, which often “ends” thinking about the particular problem ( Black, 2012 ). A second reason why problem-solving and critical thinking are different is because “one may solve a problem in a critical or uncritical manner” ( Bailin et al., 1999 ). Ennis (1996) highlighted the characteristics of critical thinkers that included staying focused on the problem, viewing it from different angles and being able to justify the solutions and decisions.
· Creative thinking skills
Moreover, one of the most important elements of critical thinking is creative thinking skills. Birgili (2015) defined creative thinking as “a type of effort toward a particular event and the problem based on the capacity of the individuals”. Creative thinkers use their knowledge, imagination, intelligence, and ideas in relevant situations, generating new and different solutions to relevant problems and situations. Creative thinking is “correlated to critical thinking and problem solving” ( Birgili, 2015 ) but creative thinking does not equal critical thinking because, as Black (2012) wrote, it “acts as the means to an end”.
· Meta-cognitive skills
Meta-cognition is an important higher order thinking skill. It has been defined as “thinking about one’s own thinking” ( Halpern, 1983 ). It requires awareness of self and many higher order skills for its activation. Meta-cognition develops when students engage in the practice of thinking. Johnson et al. (2007) emphasized two types of meta-cognition. One type relates to awareness about “planning, monitoring, evaluating, and revising one’s thinking processes and products” and the other type includes “strategic knowledge” that relates to “strategies/skills that one possesses and knowledge of when, why, and how”.
The importance of developing meta-cognitive skills is emphasized by Everson & Tobias (1998, cited in Johnson et al., 2011 ) who discussed how a group of students who evaluated their own levels of understanding about one subject area could better identify the weaknesses in particular area. These students had also demonstrated how they resolved their challenges, achieving success in those problematic areas. This indicated by Johnson et al. (2011) “how meta-cognitive skills help to support lower-level learning”. Also, the authors’ analysis about students’ reading comprehension, critical thinking, and meta-cognitive skills in higher education settings found out that while students did not show greater development in meta-cognitive skills, they demonstrated increased levels of critical thinking. There is a broad view of critical thinking and its role in college English education. It has undoubtedly established that critical thinking is an essential part of educational exploration. These varied studies lead scholars to learn more in the field of teaching critical thinking skills. Educators and psychologists have been interested in understanding the cognitive domain of human being and identifying the intellectual skills that one can perform while thinking.
Enhancing Critical Thinking through Assessment
The way of assessment in college English classrooms highly influences what and how the students learn and get the information. Critical thinking helps students to get more useful knowledge, study hard, read and search the information in order to be a smart learner. It leads them to achieve their goals and be more successful. A lot of people who think critically know how to think efficaciously. Their mind can be capable to focus on problem-solving skills. It is easy to give the examples of advantages of critical thinking in learning, but it is pretty hard to use it in the classrooms. Students should follow the suggestions in order to enhance critical thinking.
· Learners should search more information, use Internet, read reports in order to gain more information about the topic. Students should not be focused only on the textbooks, books or other sources they use in the classroom.
· The theory should be cooperated with practical education. Students should know how to use the theory, which they have learnt in the lesson, in the practice, as well.
· Provide students with the feedback, which helps learners to realize that thinking is an important part of their educational process. The feedback should tell about how better they can improve their abilities in the future. Feedback also needs to provide students with information about how well they have carried out the activities. The feedback should help them to make an effort in the learning process.
· Include activities in the tasks, which encourage students to think about the major objectives of the course, including developing critical thinking.
· Use on going assessment rather than one-shot exams at the end of the semester. One-shot exams should be limited time. English teachers are able to examine a large range of knowledge, skills of students, including critical and creative thinking skills.
· Use more creative exercises and activities during the lesson in order to encourage learners’ motivation, inspiration and interest. Creativeness makes the lesson more effective. As a result, they can get not only much information about the topic, but also pleasure, satisfaction and delight from the lesson ( Vdovina, 2013 ). There are only a few methods, which can help learners think critically. These methods are able to enhance critical thinking skills. Each teacher should use different methods during the lesson from their own ideas and fantasy.
Assumptions of the Study
Systematic implementation and practice of critical thinking strategies will help students develop habits of mind that allow them to view the world through a critical scope. The practices of critical thinking skills will help students in all academic disciplines in the college.
In modern society the ability to think critically is an important skill. In the related literature, teachers have to be critical thinkers themselves in order to teach students to think critically. Teachers should be able to promote this skill in their classes for students ( Ashton, 1988 ).
In order to understand students’ awareness of critical thinking, an experiment was conducted in the first semester of AY 2021-2022. This research was conducted with participants of ten English teachers of Zhejiang Yuexiu University located in the city of Shaoxing in Zhejiang Province. Five female teachers and five male teachers participated in this research. Teachers provided a balanced representation of each gender. The participants were selected based on the following criteria, such as being current English teachers of Zhejiang Yuexiu University, having at least three years of teaching experience at the English department ( Table 1 ).
Students also participated in this research. Students had approximately the same level of English language. Their ages range from 18 to 19. The evaluation period of students was for 16 weeks, 4 periods each week, for a total of 64 periods. I selected two groups of first year students. The number of participant students was sixty-four students. There were thirty-two participants in each group. All learners received the same content of learning, but through different methods of education. There were thirty-two experimental participants and thirty-two traditional learning participants ( Table 2 ).
I used qualitative and quantitative methods. These methods investigated English teachers’ awareness of critical thinking as a teachable skill. The data was collected through a questionnaire, participant observations and interview.
The questionnaire was addressed to teachers. This research is quantitative, because it contains statistics gathered from the questionnaire. Some of the questions were prepared during the observations based on what went on in the classes. The purpose was to make sure that all activities observed were clearly understood.
The instrumentation for measuring the ability of students’ critical thinking was an assessment after reading the article “Life at Harvard University” by Michelle Lee in the classroom. The control group of students did not receive any specific critical thinking instruction. The target class was with critical thinking strategy. Students used different thinking technique. As part of teaching strategy instruction, students had to think aloud. Students were asked to share their initial thinking in the “I think” column (Appendix 1). This first response was immediate. It did not require too much depth of thought. After that, students were prompted to think deeper in “In my opinion…” and “…and so I can guess that...” columns. For the control group, the teacher allowed students to navigate the piece of literature on their own without the assistance of an explicit thinking strategy. The control and the target groups completed the same post reading assessment quiz (Appendix 2). The quiz consists of four questions. Each question
Table 1 . Demographic information of teachers in the research group.
Table 2 . Demographic information of students in the research group.
concentrated the students to thinking critically while providing textual evidence for their thinking (Chart 1).
The results of the control group, which received no critical thinking strategy instruction, had 63% of students showed evidence of critical thinking on the post-reading quiz (Appendix 1). The target group, which received explicit instruction and practice in an inferencing critical thinking strategy, had 80% of students showed evidence of critical thinking on the post-reading quiz (Appendix 2).
English teachers found out that some students are critical thinkers as they exert more effort. A few of them could understand and picked up implications because of previous experience in dealing with critical thinking components. Other students were not critical thinkers for different reasons. Specifically students were lack of interest in practicing critical thinking. Lack of motivation and poor level in knowledge made them give up when they encounter things that require students to think or express their opinions.
Chart 2 showed the responses of teachers for questions 1 to 3. Most English teachers were aware of the importance of teaching critical thinking to college students, especially in their first year as it prepared them for academic studies
Chart 1. Students’ awareness of critical thinking after instructions and without them.
Chart 2. Teachers’ awareness of teaching critical thinking skills.
and for life. They convinced the importance of teaching critical thinking skills for college students. Two teachers were unsure about being aware of it. Only one teacher revealed being unaware. This leads to the conclusion that this teacher does not have the proper knowledge about critical thinking skills.
Chart 3 showed the teachers’ answers to the critical thinking skills that were used in the English classrooms. The most common one was inferences, followed by evaluation, analysis, brainstorming, prediction, application, planning, reasoning, understanding, discussion and problem solving (in that order). English classroom offers an atmosphere where college students are more likely to express their thoughts and ideas, address problems with genuine answers and most significantly—learn faster and more efficiently. To strengthen critical thinking skills among learners, curricula should include activities and tasks that face learners with a problem to be resolved. But teachers pay less attention on problem solving, elicitation, and synthesis.
Chart 4 showed teachers’ perceptions of critical thinking. Most of the teachers had the same perceptions of the importance of critical thinking. Critical thinking exercises motivated learners to think critically. Critical thinking is necessary for writing, reading and speaking. Teachers need training about how to teach the skills of critical thinking. Learners may get all these skills to evaluate arguments clearly. Only three teachers were not sure that it was the teacher’s responsibility to teach critical thinking in the classroom, where two of them disagreed that it was not teachers’ responsibility. Two of the teachers were also unsure that students’ language skills were necessary for teaching critical thinking, where as two of them disagreed. The rest of the sample agreed that students being good at English is necessary for teaching critical thinking.
The results demonstrated that all teachers accept that critical thinking skills are important for students attending college. Teachers accepted the idea that
Chart 3. Types of critical thinking skills emphasized during teaching.
Chart 4. Teachers’ perception of critical thinking.
critical thinking should definitely be encouraged and it should become a habit in students. Moreover, participant teachers highlighted the importance of materials in fostering critical thinking. The carefully chosen materials could become a leader for both teachers and students. They believed that choosing interesting materials, introducing intriguing topics, and relating them with students’ own experiences triggered curiosity and in the end students felt motivated.
The recorded data gathered through interviews were transcribed. The use of interviews generated a multifaceted view of ten English teachers’ understanding of critical thinking and application of its principles in their classes.
· Analysis of Observations
In order to make sense of the interview, each teacher was observed four times in their classes. I found out how teachers focused on critical thinking skills during their lessons.
During observation of four lessons, the first teacher (T1) mainly focused on questioning tasks. During grammar and reading lessons, she used the question form “why” and expected the students to provide reasons to their answers.
The second teacher (T2) tried to relate the topics with learners’ personal experiences. This teacher asked students to respond to their statements.
The third teacher (T3) mainly focused on problem solving and encouraged students to apply their knowledge. She also motivated students to rethink about their statements and reevaluate their judgments.
The fourth teacher (T4) mainly focused on investigation of ideas at deeper levels. She asked students to think aloud. She created several opportunities for students to discuss and reflect on topics. The teacher identified students’ thoughts. Moreover, she provided feedback.
The fifth teacher (T5) mainly focused on techniques of investigating deeper and looking for logical evidence. Thus, he continuously asked “why” and “how”. The teacher created situations where students solved problems. Also learners expressed their ideas and opinions. Linking the topics to daily issues, he tried to encourage students to reflect on their own learning.
The sixth teacher (T6) encouraged the students to analyze and investigate the text at a deeper level by using questioning technique.
The seventh teacher (T7) expected the students to solve a problem. She asked students to predict what was going to happen. This helped students to make inferences by using clues and analyze those situations carefully.
The eighth teacher (T8) did not let students to investigate their assumptions. She never fostered collaborative learning. The students did not create any materials. Learners did not be engaged in any discussion.
The ninth teacher (T9) did little work on problem solving and discussion. He regularly provided the feedback. But he did not give the students the opportunity to create their own materials themselves, either.
The tenth teacher (T10) encouraged the students to solve problems by focusing on their personal experiences. Students had opportunities to give their opinions in discussions.
In order to quantify the field notes gathered during observations, a checklist was filled out after the lessons by depending on teachers’ behaviors. Teachers’ strategies were translated into behaviors that support critical thinking.
Chart 5 showed that except for asking students to develop their own materials. The techniques that were used to enhance students’ critical thinking skills were applied by all the teachers. The fifth teacher integrated almost all techniques during college English classes. This teacher was as a leader Brainstorming, debates and discussions were really effective strategies in the class. The statistics in
Chart 5. Findings from the observations.
Chart 4 showed that the majority of college English teachers didn’t pay enough attention on the group-work activities. The observation showed that most of the teachers didn’t let students create their materials by themselves. Most of teachers encouraged critical thinking in their classes by encouraging students to relate what they read to their lives, asking for purpose or genre, group discussions, peer discussions in pre-reading and pre-listening tasks, brainstorming and evaluating others’ opinions. Some teachers did not mention synthesizing and applying information, which were the core components of critical thinking. Another important aspect that was missing in their definitions and practice was the limited inclusion of collaborative learning environments. Students need more training by reflecting on topics related to their lives, and motivating them with topics they are familiar with to express their opinions, even though they do not have the proper proficiency to start a debate. They need guidance and training.
This article is based on a study carried out with a group of college students and English teachers who enhanced their language skills while using their critical thinking skills. English classes were observed throughout one semester. Teachers’ answers and opinions led to selecting practical critical thinking activities. Infusing critical thinking is a long-term process. Teachers should start with simple activities and progress towards more challenging ones such as problem solving. Working with students gives several advantages for teachers since students have already acquainted a significant amount of experience at this level. Teachers can create situations where students reveal their potential as critical thinkers.
According to the students who participated in the study, I present a few of the most practical activities to improve critical thinking.
· Brainstorming is the first step before doing anything. Teachers, before starting any activity regardless of the subject, should practice to brainstorm. For example “What do you think our lesson will be about? What do you expect to learn upon the completion of this lesson? Why..? How…?”
· Questioning is the second helpful strategy. Appropriate questioning is crucial when using this strategy to develop critical thinking. Teachers often rely on questions to check for understanding. Sometimes these questions do not demand deep thinking. The overuse of these questions can lead to learners’ boredom. Teachers should be very deliberate when making questions. Appropriate questions are those that match both students’ language and thinking levels. Also students may lose their confidence and interest, if teachers make unrealistically questions ( Long, Blankenburg, & Butani, 2015 ). A good practice to facilitate questioning in the college English classroom is to design questions in a sequence. The sequence will help students to think deeper as they come through in the progression.
· Debates and classroom discussions. One of the best practical activities is to provide learners with controversial topics to discuss. Students found this task as supporting their critical thinking development. Although students might feel anxious at the beginning, they eventually respond favorably as the progress over time. Akerman and Neale (2011) explained the importance of the debate in the classroom. Students were presented two sets of perspectives to students and encouraging them to support their position in an oral or written exchange.
· Meaningful written assignments: involving students in writing is not an easy task. It implies the combination of several sub-components that need to be logically organized. Teachers should give students meaningful written assignments. The task must be relevant to lives and the context where they perform their daily activities. The task should be connected to their objectives as learners. Critical thinking writing tasks should be short but meaningful. Critical thinking writing tasks should hopefully come right after the lesson to immediately relate to what they learned in class. Asking students to write long essays or reports does not guarantee that students will be using their critical thinking skills but other people’s ideas. All teachers should let students to discuss their ideas in groups. These discussions will help students think deeply on the topic and will help them to guide their writing.
English teachers have required that they are aware of the importance of teaching critical thinking to students. Teachers have found out that critical thinking skills are often based on their images, which are mainly guided by their own study experiences. Most of teachers were also aware of critical thinking skills, but only those that were required in classroom textbooks. Other skills were not emphasized and if they are used, they are used according to the teacher’s own personal effort. This led to the conclusion that most teachers do not have the proper knowledge about critical thinking skills. This qualitative case study was designed around the convergence of two research areas: beliefs and knowledge about critical thinking and the implementation of critical thinking. Teachers provided the data and observational data. The data showed an interpretative view of how English teachers realize and integrate critical thinking in their English teaching context. The findings have shown that teachers’ beliefs and perceptions affect their practices and decision making in their classroom. Some critical thinking skills can be taught to beginners, such as the skill of application. For example, beginners can read a text about a country and these students can apply ideas related to their own country. At the same time, some teachers believe that all students are critical thinkers, but they need guidance and practice according to their level. English teachers underlined that it is necessary to use the critical thinking in teaching all English skills. Most skills that deal with critical thinking are the productive skills, such as speaking and writing. In some texts in the books, there are questions that require inferences and reading between the lines. This again showed that teachers should know that critical thinking skills can be used in all English skills, not only in specific ones.
As for barriers, they are similar to those mentioned in previous studies, like lack of interest, lack of motivation, but the most challenging barrier was students’ lack of information background. This can be addressed by encouraging students to relate material to their lives and to access the internet to get information to overcome the defects of the traditional education system that focused on memorization. In regards to language proficiency, a few teachers stated that it is a huge barrier, which is in contrast to what was mentioned in previous studies. Students need more training by reflecting on topics they are familiar with to express their opinions, even though they do not have to start a debate professionally. They need guidance and training. Another interesting idea that, according to teachers, affects negatively on learners’ critical thinking is cultural background. Often, there is some reluctance to argue with seniors, like teachers, as a form of respect, or with an author or a writer’s opinion, as they are more educated and knowledgeable. However, with practice, encouragement, and more critical thinking exercises, that barrier can be overcome. Time limitation is another challenge, as teachers have to cover certain outcomes that leave little time for more practice to really teach critical thinking skills. I think that teachers themselves need training before teaching critical thinking, as they will learn how to plan their lessons, how to train their students, how they themselves will be critical thinkers and how to overcome barriers to teach critical thinking. Regarding teachers’ attitudes towards development of critical thinking among students, the respondents have a very positive attitude about critical thinking into their course content. Critical thinking is definitely regarded as a very important and major skill. Teachers suggest to focus on critical thinking processes in the classroom.
The present study is an attempt to examine the possibility of promoting critical thinking skills through teaching in college English classes. It became clear that the students are not aware of the importance of it and the practicality of the subject matter. In order to understand the required skills to master the English language, students should learn to think and adopt strategies that would help them in the real world. Almost all English teachers believed that the creative teaching of English helps students to learn easier and better. All in all, the results of the study have shown that promoting critical thinking skills in college English classes is a very demanding job. It requires efforts from all parts of the teaching and learning operation especially the teacher who should be well prepared and the learner who has to adopt the appropriate learning. After the research strategies of critical thinking with two groups of Zhejiang Yuexiu University students, it’s obviously that using these strategies resulted in students’ positive outcomes. Students demonstrated high levels of motivation and a better disposition to work with English language. They displayed that by exercising their thinking skills such as creating, analyzing, discussing, and answering, English learners could perform better results during English classes. Participants in this research described learning English from critical thinking standpoint was an important and meaningful life experience that changed their perspectives regarding the implications of learning a foreign language.
The present research could be a useful starting point for future researchers in the field of investing thinking skills in college English classroom. English teachers should find different strategies to help their students use their critical thinking skills. It recommends to college English teachers to change the education system of English lessons. College English classes should stimulate learners to think critically. So, while in the learning process, the interaction between teacher and students will be more active and can enhance students’ critical thinking.
Appendix 1: Critical Thinking Strategy Student Guide to Inferencing
Michelle Lee “Life at Harvard University”
Students have to give the opinion about life at Harvard University, educational process of Harvard University, life in another country, The First Year Social Committee (FYSC).
Students should start with follow words:
The book says...
In my opinion…
…and so I can guess that…
Appendix 2: Post-Critical Thinking Guide Questions
Demonstrating your understanding of the article. Remember, it is essential to support your thinking with evidence from the reading.
1) Supporting your answer with evidence from the article, record and explain at least one connection you made while reading. Consider text to text, text to self, and text to world connections.
2) Supporting your answer with evidence from the article, record and explain a deep question you asked yourself while reading.
3) Supporting your answer with evidence from the article, explain an inference you made while reading. You should be certain that the inference you choose provided depth and additional insight for you as you read, versus a superficial type of inference.
4) Supporting your answer with evidence from the article. You should identify and analyze the life of the main character.
Conflicts of Interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this paper.
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The Peak Performance Center
The pursuit of performance excellence, critical thinking vs. creative thinking, critical thinking vs. creative thinking.
Creative thinking is a way of looking at problems or situations from a fresh perspective to conceive of something new or original.
critical thinking is the logical, sequential disciplined process of rationalizing, analyzing, evaluating, and interpreting information to make informed judgments and/or decisions.
Critical Thinking vs. Creative Thinking – Key Differences
- Creative thinking tries to create something new, while critical thinking seeks to assess worth or validity of something that already exists.
- Creative thinking is generative, while critical thinking is analytical .
- Creative thinking is divergent, while critical thinking is convergent.
- Creative thinking is focused on possibilities, while critical thinking is focused on probability.
- Creative thinking is accomplished by disregarding accepted principles, while critical thinking is accomplished by applying accepted principles.
About Creative Thinking
Creative thinking is a process utilized to generate lists of new, varied and unique ideas or possibilities. Creative thinking brings a fresh perspective and sometimes unconventional solution to solve a problem or address a challenge. When you are thinking creatively, you are focused on exploring ideas, generating possibilities, and/or developing various theories.
Creative thinking can be performed both by an unstructured process such as brainstorming , or by a structured process such as lateral thinking .
Brainstorming is the process for generating unique ideas and solutions through spontaneous and freewheeling group discussion. Participants are encouraged to think aloud and suggest as many ideas as they can, no matter how outlandish it may seem.
Lateral thinking uses a systematic process that leads to logical conclusions. However, it involves changing a standard thinking sequence and arriving at a solution from completely different angles.
No matter what process you chose, the ultimate goal is to generate ideas that are unique, useful and worthy of further elaboration. Often times, critical thinking is performed after creative thinking has generated various possibilities. Critical thinking is used to vet those ideas to determine if they are practical.
Creative Thinking Skills
About Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is the process of actively analyzing, interpreting, synthesizing, evaluating information gathered from observation, experience, or communication. It is thinking in a clear, logical, reasoned, and reflective manner to make informed judgments and/or decisions.
Critical thinking involves the ability to:
- remain objective
In general, critical thinking is used to make logical well-formed decisions after analyzing and evaluating information and/or an array of ideas.
On a daily basis, it can be used for a variety of reasons including:
- to form an argument
- to articulate and justify a position or point of view
- to reduce possibilities to convergent toward a single answer
- to vet creative ideas to determine if they are practical
- to judge an assumption
- to solve a problem
- to reach a conclusion
Critical Thinking Skills
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Critical And Creative Thinking | Newsletter – October 2021
Critical thinking is the ability to clearly and logically consider information that is presented to us. Creative thinking is about generating new, novel, or useful ideas. The great innovators combine critical thinking and creative thinking.
Creative thinking (a companion to critical thinking) is an invaluable skill for college students. It’s important because it helps you look at problems and situations from a fresh perspective. You see problems as interesting opportunities, and you challenge assumptions and suspend judgment. You don’t give up easily. Some of the best examples of creative thinking skills may include lateral thinking, visual reading, out-of-the-box thinking, copywriting, artistic creativity, problem-solving, analytical mind, and divergent thinking. By practicing critical thinking, we are allowing ourselves not only to solve problems but also to come up with new and creative ideas to do so. Critical thinking allows us to analyse these ideas and adjust them accordingly
Generally speaking, creativity is associated with generating ideas, while critical thinking is associated with judging them. … It is fundamentally creative in the sense that its aim is to produce something new: an insight, an argument, a new synthesis of ideas or information, a new level of understanding.
Creative Thinking vs Critical Thinking
Creative Thinking is a way of looking at problems or situations from a fresh perspective to conceive of something new or original
Critical Thinking is the logical, sequential disciplined process of rationalizing, analysing, evaluating and interpreting information to make informed judgements and/or decisions.
They are the complementary skills that you use as different stages when trying to solve a problem or forming a judgment about something. Critical thinking is the ability to clearly and logically consider information that is presented to us. Creative thinking is about generating new, novel, or useful ideas. The great innovators combine critical thinking and creative thinking. Old world perspectives with new world ideas.
Creative Thinking and Critical Thinking are two expressions that show the difference between them when it comes to their inner meanings. Creative Thinking is going beyond the limitations and being original and fresh in one’s ideas. Critical Thinking, on the other hand, is more evaluative in nature and analyses a particular thing. Hence, one can conclude that while Creative thinking is generative in purpose, Critical Thinking is analytical in purpose. This is one of the main differences between creative thinking and critical thinking.
No matter what process you chose, the ultimate goal is to generate ideas that are unique, useful and worthy of further elaboration. Oftentimes, critical thinking is performed after creative thinking has generated various possibilities. Critical thinking is used to vet those ideas to determine if they are practical
Importance of Critical and Creative Thinking
Creativity goes hand in hand with innovation. … Creativity improves the process of solving problems. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about developing a new strategy or an innovative way to stay ahead of the competition. Creative problem solving gives that competitive edge that any business is striving to achieve
Both creative and critical thinking are essential in the success of a business. … Both ways of thinking require elaboration on the problem, which leads to problem-solving. Creative thinking can be used to elaborate on the initial problem in order to come up with new solutions.
By applying creative and critical thinking approaches to your subject area you will enrich and deepen your learning experiences. Furthermore, creative and critical thinking skills can benefit many other areas of your life from problem solutions to decision making.
The reason why innovation benefits from critical thinking is simple; critical thinking is used when judgment is needed to produce the desired set of valued outcomes. That is why the majority of innovation outcomes reflect incremental improvements built on a foundation of critically thought-out solutions.
How to Improve Critical Thinking Skills
- Open-mindedness: Critical thinkers must work to have unbiased thought processes and remain open to more than one point of view. This openness to challenging information is a foundation for critical thinking.
- Analysis: Analyse information to determine its reliability and to understand it well enough to draw further conclusions. This is one of the most important aspects of critical thinking.
- Interpretation: Take time to interpret your analysis, synthesizing, and deciphering the meaning of relevant information.
- Problem-solving: Once you analyse and interpret a problem, you can come up with one or more possible solutions.
- Decision-making: By making a decisive decision, you come to a conclusion based on the data you have interpreted.
- Effective communication: You must be able to convincingly explain your conclusions (and the thought process behind them) toSelf-improvement: Good critical thinkers develop positive habits of mind by reflecting on their own personal critical thinking process and looking for ways to improve it.
How to Improve Creative Thinking Skills
Create your own “Three Ifs”: Many good innovators take an existing object and ask clever questions to twist the very concept of it and make it new.
(i) What would happen if I change it (the object/ system/ social relationship, etc)?
(ii)What would I change or improve about this object if I wanted to use it in 10 years?
(iii) What would I do if I had a one-million-dollar investment to improve it?
- Practice dreaming: The greatest paradox is that creative thinking is not necessarily the product of IQ or enlightenment via the proverbial apple falling on your head. It is a matter of regularly training your imagination, practicing your powers of observation and dreaming, big or small.
- Make time for cohesive creative thinking: Every textbook on creativity affirms to the importance of setting aside clearly defined time for creative thinking and innovation. Allocate time – it might be an hour per day or per week – in which to exercise creative thinking about something specific.
- Learn to pitch your ideas: One of the most important innovation skills is the ability to present a very short and clear description of a new idea (two to three sentences – like shouting through the closing door of an elevator) and to make a short presentation (two to three minutes – what is called an “elevator pitch”).
- Bounce ideas off others: Even a great innovator needs people around her or him to discuss – or “bounce” – new creative ideas and innovations. The important asset to add to your innovation skillset, is the ability to be a valuable team player, capable of bouncing ideas to the next level.
Critical and creative thinkings are two inseparable sides and educational goals everywhere. Both are necessary skills in everyday life. To be applied depends on the ability and confidence of the lecturer to apply in the form lab in the laboratory. They both play an important role in every aspect of our life and as we learn to implement them for solving problems and stay focused in what we do
- Article on the Importance of Creative Thinking
- Video on Critical and Creative Thinking Tool
- Article on Importance of Critical Thinking
- Video on Differences between Creative & Critical Thinking
- Ted Talk on Creative and Critical Thinking
“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.” – Albert Einstein
Update on Skill Development & Training
In the new cohort, currently in the 2nd year (1438), 699 students were mapped to the Enguru English program and 739 scholars to the Hello English program. This started on August 10th.
The Campus to Corporate “Skills Training Program” supported by Capgemini,1460 scholars gave the Midline test. Based on these scores, 483 students are in the Hi-touch English program by eAge Tutors, 713 in the Coursera program, and 30 in the Skill Lync program. A batch of 100 students from Computer Science & IT streams will do the IBM Skill build program from October 10th.
This year, the 2nd year students in Law (18) and Pharma(52) cohorts are also enrolled in the English program with Enguru that started on 31st August.
FLY (Finding the Leader in You) Program in partnership with CMI and IIT-Gandhinagar
The 12-days workshop was conducted in September with a batch of 34 students. This comprises of 2nd year Engineering scholars. This workshop is conducted by CMI – Competitive Mindset Institute Inc and designed to teach noncognitive skills for the personality and character development of students.
Soft Skill Training programs and webinars for Medical FFE scholars
Qmed – Medical Literature searching course for research and study is going on for 66 Medical scholars.
Medical Webinar – 13th Medical Webinar (25th September) – “Research in MBBS: translation versus mere research” conducted by Dr. Sakir Ahmed – 231 participants
- From the 2019-20 batch of 1023 Engineering scholars, 93% (953) of students are placed, where 723 have secured jobs and 230 have opted for higher studies. 7% (70) of students are currently seeking employment.
- From the 2020-21 graduating batch of 890 Engineering students, 82% (736) is placed; 519 have secured jobs and 217 have opted for higher studies while 19% students (154) are seeking employment.
- From the 2021-22 graduating batch of 1256 Engineering students (current final year), 29% (361) are placed; 239 have secured jobs and 122 have opted for higher studies. The remaining 895 students are starting campus interviews from September 2021.
FFE is thankful to its corporate partners Geberit Plumbing Technology India Private Limited, O9 Solutions, Altimetrik India Pvt. Limited, Capgemini TechnologyServices India Limited, KPMG Assurance, and Consulting Services LLP, TraneTechnologies, Ingersoll Rand for offering Placement opportunities to FFE’s batch of 2019-20, 2020-21 & 2021-22.
Below are toppers in the Coursera training program. They have been issued with gift vouchers, based on their performance. Congratulations to all of you!
Social media is a great forum to stay connected and updated about our latest events, news and opportunities. Like, Follow & Subscribe!
In Focus | July – September 2023 Newsletter
We were delighted and uplifted to host FFE Founders, Dr. Prabhu and Mrs. Poonam Goel, during their trip to India this quarter. Amidst a whirlwind
In Focus | April – June 2023 Newsletter
The second quarter of this year has been dedicated to reflection, planning and celebrating our successes, while setting ambitiousgoals for the future. Looking back at
ConnectHUB – The future of work: how to stay ahead
Just like Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, The key here is to adapt and upskill oneself to survive. It is predicted that various jobs could be
In Focus | January – March 2023 Newsletter
The highest number of students (13,575) awarded scholarships to date in a single year amounting to Rs. 59.59 Crores in scholarships. The maximum number of
You can make a difference, in the lives of financially constrained gifted students, who have the potential to rise above the rest. Support Engineering, Medical, Pharma or Law students, to help achieve their dreams.
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Part Two: You are the President and CEO of You
Thinking Critically and Creatively
Dr. andrew robert baker.
Critical and creative thinking skills are perhaps the most fundamental skills involved in making judgments and solving problems. They are some of the most important skills I have ever developed. I use them everyday and continue to work to improve them both.
The ability to think critically about a matter—to analyze a question, situation, or problem down to its most basic parts—is what helps us evaluate the accuracy and truthfulness of statements, claims, and information we read and hear. It is the sharp knife that, when honed, separates fact from fiction, honesty from lies, and the accurate from the misleading. We all use this skill to one degree or another almost every day. For example, we use critical thinking every day as we consider the latest consumer products and why one particular product is the best among its peers. Is it a quality product because a celebrity endorses it? Because a lot of other people may have used it? Because it is made by one company versus another? Or perhaps because it is made in one country or another? These are questions representative of critical thinking.
The academic setting demands more of us in terms of critical thinking than everyday life. It demands that we evaluate information and analyze a myriad of issues. It is the environment where our critical thinking skills can be the difference between success and failure. In this environment we must consider information in an analytical, critical manner. We must ask questions—What is the source of this information? Is this source an expert one and what makes it so? Are there multiple perspectives to consider on an issue? Do multiple sources agree or disagree on an issue? Does quality research substantiate information or opinion? Do I have any personal biases that may affect my consideration of this information? It is only through purposeful, frequent, intentional questioning such as this that we can sharpen our critical thinking skills and improve as students, learners, and researchers. Developing my critical thinking skills over a twenty year period as a student in higher education enabled me to complete a quantitative dissertation, including analyzing research and completing statistical analysis, and earning my Ph.D. in 2014.
While critical thinking analyzes information and roots out the true nature and facets of problems, it is creative thinking that drives progress forward when it comes to solving these problems. Exceptional creative thinkers are people that invent new solutions to existing problems that do not rely on past or current solutions. They are the ones who invent solution C when everyone else is still arguing between A and B. Creative thinking skills involve using strategies to clear the mind so that our thoughts and ideas can transcend the current limitations of a problem and allow us to see beyond barriers that prevent new solutions from being found.
Brainstorming is the simplest example of intentional creative thinking that most people have tried at least once. With the quick generation of many ideas at once we can block-out our brain’s natural tendency to limit our solution-generating abilities so we can access and combine many possible solutions/thoughts and invent new ones. It is sort of like sprinting through a race’s finish line only to find there is new track on the other side and we can keep going, if we choose. As with critical thinking, higher education both demands creative thinking from us and is the perfect place to practice and develop the skill. Everything from word problems in a math class, to opinion or persuasive speeches and papers, call upon our creative thinking skills to generate new solutions and perspectives in response to our professor’s demands. Creative thinking skills ask questions such as—What if? Why not? What else is out there? Can I combine perspectives/solutions? What is something no one else has brought-up? What is being forgotten/ignored? What about ______? It is the opening of doors and options that follows problem-identification.
Consider an assignment that required you to compare two different authors on the topic of education and select and defend one as better. Now add to this scenario that your professor clearly prefers one author over the other. While critical thinking can get you as far as identifying the similarities and differences between these authors and evaluating their merits, it is creative thinking that you must use if you wish to challenge your professor’s opinion and invent new perspectives on the authors that have not previously been considered.
So, what can we do to develop our critical and creative thinking skills? Although many students may dislike it, group work is an excellent way to develop our thinking skills. Many times I have heard from students their disdain for working in groups based on scheduling, varied levels of commitment to the group or project, and personality conflicts too, of course. True—it’s not always easy, but that is why it is so effective. When we work collaboratively on a project or problem we bring many brains to bear on a subject. These different brains will naturally develop varied ways of solving or explaining problems and examining information. To the observant individual we see that this places us in a constant state of back and forth critical/creative thinking modes.
For example, in group work we are simultaneously analyzing information and generating solutions on our own, while challenging other’s analyses/ideas and responding to challenges to our own analyses/ideas. This is part of why students tend to avoid group work—it challenges us as thinkers and forces us to analyze others while defending ourselves, which is not something we are used to or comfortable with as most of our educational experiences involve solo work. Your professors know this—that’s why we assign it—to help you grow as students, learners, and thinkers!
Foundations of Academic Success: Words of Wisdom Copyright © 2015 by Thomas Priester is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.