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Critical thinking is a term that was given much discussion through research, articles, workshops, and even in our gatherings as educators. Critical thinking is essential for 21st century employability skills. Johnathan Magid from Rackspace Hosting, a cloud computing company stated in interviews he doesn’t look on what the individual knows right now,” he is looking for someone who can learn on the fly a completely new programming language because what is currently being used may be outdated in six months, reasoning, logic, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking skills in the information technology industry are crucial and they are the most difficult to master and, unfortunately, fairly rare in employee candidates” (Johnson, 2013, July ).
Even though the majority of educators realize the importance of critical thinking, but unfortunately they don’t develop critical thinking skills needed. Some give reasons such as lack of time or that critical thinking is gained through students’ social interaction more than taught. Others claim that they are teaching critical thinking skills as they are giving opportunity to students to say their opinions during discussions. But I believe that the problem is that we are unaware of the right practices or strategies that enable them to teach critical thinking.
There are few initiative tips that educators should start with to foster students’ critical thinking skills. First, when instructors questioned, they need to respond to students with research based replies and not in the typical authoritative manner that kills discussions, that sets an example for students to view how critical thinking process is like. Second during discussions, educators should prompt students to provide explanations and justification to their views and opinions and solicit the opposite view which encourages students to justify their point of view. Last educators must probe open-ended questions and encourage students to provide problem solving response opposed to given theories and definitions (Jones, 2013, July 29).
- Johnson, B. (2013, July 3). College and Career Ready: Soft Skills Are Crucial. Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/college-career-ready-soft-skills-crucial-ben-johnson
- Jones. R.C. ( 2013, July 29). The Instructor’s Challenge: Moving Students beyond Opinions to Critical Thinking. FacultyFocus. Retrieved from http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/effective-teaching-strategies/the-instructors-challenge-moving-students-beyond-opinions-to-critical-thinking/