Encourage your children to use other observations, experiences, and knowledge to try and guess or predict what will happen in a certain circumstance.
First, recognize a problem, gather data, list possible solutions, test solutions, and then select the best solution, implement the solution and follow-up to see if it solves the problem.
Having lots of opportunities to practice approaching questions in this manner will strengthen a child’s Critical Thinking Skills.
This same method can be used to organize one’s plans, thoughts, and to solve problems in everyday life.
Young children do this naturally when throwing food from their high chair to see what happens, or by building block towers and knocking them down.
Teaching Critical Thinking through the Scientific Method The National Commission on Excellence in Education reported in 1983 that “Many 17-year-olds do not possess the ‘higher-order’ intellectual skills we should expect of them.
Nearly 40 percent cannot draw inferences from written material; only one-fifth can write a persuasive essay, and only one-third can solve a mathematics problem requiring several steps.” As the amount of factual information has increased, many educators are concerned that instruction has been focused too much on what a student should learn at the expense of teaching students how to learn, or more importantly, how to think.It is important to encourage children to use all their senses to observe the world and freely ask questions to support their learning.Let’s explore how we can take a question a child might ask such as, “Will ants eat my cereal? The second step is to make a prediction or theory which is usually based on an educated guess.When direct experimentation is not possible, scientists modify the scientific method.In fact, there are probably as many versions of the scientific method as there are scientists!As they grow we need to help them become more conscious of this process.By becoming comfortable with the Scientific Method, parents and teachers can adapt this method and integrate it into various academic and daily activities so that it will become second nature for the child. Children naturally love to ask questions and often ask questions based on their observations about the world around them.But even when modified, the goal remains the same: to discover cause and effect relationships by asking questions, carefully gathering and examining the evidence, and seeing if all the available information can be combined in to a logical answer.Even though we show the scientific method as a series of steps, keep in mind that new information or thinking might cause a scientist to back up and repeat steps at any point during the process.Encourage children to try different ways of doing things to see which method works best.When they have questions such as “What happens when I mix all the colors together, or how much sleep do I need to feel rested before a big game?