Critical Thinking In Education


Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.  Critical thinking occurs when students are applying creative thought to form an argument, solve a problem, or reach a conclusion. A student can reflect and understand their points of views. This skill helps a student figure out how to make sense of the working process, based on personal observation and understanding. 

Students with critical thinking skills are able to think rationally and clearly about what they should or should not believe. They are capable of engaging in their own thoughts, and doing some task in order to come to a well-informed conclusion. The ultimate goal of critical thinking is to solve problems or make decisions. This is achieved by mentally processing information in a  logical and reflective manner so you can understand things better.

Skills you need to note that someone with critical thinking skills can:

  • understand ideas

  • determine the importance and relevance ideas

  • recognize, build and appraise ideas

  • identify inconsistencies and errors in reasoning

  • approach problems consistently and systematically

  • reflect on the justification of their own ideas

Build in opportunities for students to find connection in learning

  1. Use analogies.

  2. Promote interaction among students.

  3. Ask open-ended questions.

  4. Allow reflection time.

  5. Use real-life problems.

  6. Allow for thinking practice.

Students need to be able to think critically to make rational decisions on what to believe or what actions to take. Critical thinking is about having good reasons for our beliefs. It helps us to navigate through bias to avoid manipulation or becoming enslaved by our feelings. These are very essential skills in an age of overwhelming information. An opinion based on critical thinking does not rely on gut feeling, but rather on rational reasoning which has some form of initial research.

Approach to Critical Thinking

  • Format the question

  • Gather the information

  • Apply the information

  • Consider the implications

  • Explore other point of view

Become a Critical Thinker

To help students develop these habits, be sure to encourage intellectual curiosity. Ask students to examine their own assumptions and evaluate these with their own research, opinions and available evidence. Consistently insist that students provide evidence to support their conclusions when they express opinions. Students who develop critical thinking ability often practice those skills well into later life. These skills may literally change the lives of students  forever.