Monday, October 3

How Critical Thinking Boosts Maths and Science Education

What is Critical Thinking?

Critical thinking is akin to logical deduction. It encourages independent and thoughtfulness. Critical thinking stresses highly on the ability to think rationally, sequentially and arrive at the most logical conclusion. It is considered as an essential 21st century skills. However, it has been popular since many years. As a matter of fact, even h early Greek philosophers like Plato and Socrates subscribed to it.

The modern educational system has a huge role to perform. Critical thinking skills can be inculcated from an early age. Moreover, it has a special role in boosting the study of subjects like Maths and Science. The NCERT solutions for class 7 maths and class 7 science syllabus all strive to enhance this important skill in students.

Science Projects have to be well planned, researched and inferred. Students require to use their logical and critical thinking skills to achieve the desired outcomes. Similarly, if a student is constructing a graph or a geometry construction, a thorough study of the data and information is carried out.

Thereafter, the planning and execution of constructing the model happens. Understanding the important data points is necessary. All these activities require a keen sense of analysis and critical thinking.

Application in Studying Maths and Science

Asking students if certain statements are true or false is a good way to develop critical thinking in them. They use facts and counter facts  to justify their answers. They learn to reason and argue.

For instance, let’s ask some Mathematical questions

Justify whether these statements are true or false?

29 + 82 = 546 Is it true? Justify

If I can buy 10 chocolates with Rs 20, then can in buy 30 chocolates with Rs 60?

Students can be encouraged to look at these questions and use applicable methods to prove or disprove these statements. They can arrive at a logical conclusion.

Skills a critical thinker develops

A Critical Thinker can

  • Connect the connections between two events or ideas
  • Reason and identify any errors in judgments
  • Approach the problem in a methodical way
  • Build arguments for and against to arrive at the most logical conclusion
  • Don’t get biased with their own ideas and beliefs but reflect on them to test their validity.

These are crucial attributes  for students wishing to pursue a career in Maths or Science related fields. These are the underlying concepts which promote scientific reasoning and temperament. Without this, there would be no great scientific discoveries that have led to humankind’s progress.

Why Critical Thinking for Students?

Critical Thinking is all about a child’s understanding of a problem and devising a plan to find the best solution. The plan will take into consideration all essential parameters and develop a sequential line of thought. The learning needs and professional needs of the 21st century are built upon the integration of technology.

Modern Education aspires to skill students in the 4 Cs- which are critical Thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity to be able to meet the new demands of the 21st century.

Science and Maths are academically important subjects. They are the gateways to many interesting and important professions and careers. Man’s evolution, in fact is dependent upon the advancement of these subjects. The schooling system should empower students so that they are able to inculcate the habit of critical thinking.

With this higher order thinking skill, students can identify, analyse and independent make inferences for themselves. This forms the foundation of the scientific temperament.

Critical Thinking Skills that Boost Maths and Science Learning

Let’s see how critical thinking inculcates some important skills which help in the study of Maths and Science.

– Observe and Infer – Maths and Science thrive on understanding and being aware of your surroundings. To observe and infer is easily one of one of the earliest critical thinking skills children can be taught. Children can be trained to be watchful and observant. Moreover, they can use their observation to form logical inferences.

– Logical Thinking – Logical and Analytical Thinking is required while deducing the solution to any hypothesis or formula. It is a helpful skill to have when students are working on projects and reports etc. Teachers can guide them by posing relevant questions so the children develop a habit of thinking objectively.

– Clarity – Teachers can encourage students to seek as much information as possible to clear their doubts.

Information helps them to understand better and not be biased. With correct information, they can rely on facts and figures to arrive at the possible solutions.

– Allow Introspection- Students should be given the freedom to formulate their opinions as well. However, they should also be taught to back these opinions on the basis of observations with facts. They can form their

– Creative Thinking– Subscribing to old world methods is not always the best way to nurture innovation. Experimentation with thoughts and ideas leads to new creative outlets. This inspires self-discovery and growth. When students are allowed to express themselves creatively, it leads them to understand and reason better.

Conclusion

Children by default are keen observers and very curious. It is up to the mentors and the educational systems to boost this desired quality. Critical thinking skills will help students to develop the right skill sets that are required for the 21st century professions.

However, critical thinking is not a separate entity. It has to be integrated into the course curriculum. It is an important feature of STEM based education and careers. And its application is not limited to only Maths and Science academic concepts.

As a matter of fact, it is an essential real-world skill as well. To solve real world problems requires strong and well-oiled mental faculties. The ability to observe and discern and look at problems critically is helpful for every stage of life.

The NCERT solutions for the class 7 maths and class 7 science syllabus are developed after much research by educationists. It helps students acquire Higher Order Thinking Skills. If students understand the concepts well and practice regularly, it will prepare them for academic success.

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