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Critical thinking is the process of independently analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information as a guide to behavior and beliefs. The American Philosophical Association has defined critical thinking as "the process of purposeful, self-regulatory judgment. The process gives reasoned consideration to evidence , contexts , conceptualizations, methods, and criteria" Critical thinking is sometimes broadly defined as "thinking about thinking. Critical thinking skills include the ability to interpret, verify, and reason, all of which involve applying the principles of logic. The process of using critical thinking to guide writing is called critical writing.
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Recall and memorization only require surface level thinking. If you are teaching ESL to children, teaching critical thinking is particularly important because it will serve them in their futures no matter what language they are speaking. The following are some ways to integrate critical thinking exercises into your ESL lessons while still meeting the language goals you set for your students. Getting your students to think about how they came to the answer that they did will challenge them to think critically, and it gets them using more language and using it in practical ways. For example, in an activity for using the simple future , you might ask your students what they will be doing in five years.
Critical thinking is a skill that students develop gradually as they progress in school. While the skill becomes more important in higher grades, some students find it difficult to understand the concept of critical thinking. The reason critical thinking can be difficult to grasp is because it requires students to set aside assumptions and beliefs to learn to think without bias or judgment. Critical thinking involves suspending your beliefs to explore and question topics from a "blank page" point of view. It also involves the ability to distinguish fact from opinion when exploring a topic.