Critical Thinking

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Critical thinking enables our children to make clear, rational, open-minded, and informed decisions. Now, that’s a mouthful, isn’t it? Let’s look at it in another way.

Our children engage in conversations and arguments on a variety of topics. Some conversations are benign and informative such as your child explaining what a great day he or she had at school. Some others are very challenging and test everyone’s patience, such as the conversation you have with them when they want to go to school in shorts on a cold, winter day. And then there are some conversations that are life-changing such as the ones they have with their peers as they grow up, many of which you will not even hear about.

Would you like your child to know the difference between a valid and invalid argument, evaluate between sufficient and insufficient evidence, differentiate between fact, opinion and emotional arguments, examine all sides of a story, and be open-minded in one’s thinking? Would you like them to learn this while examining real-world case studies?

Our children have to constantly make decisions. For example, your child might decide to pick the strawberry ice cream because he or she knows that she can get the cookies and cream next time. Other decisions require a bit more effort. For example, your child might need to understand the grading rubric while deciding the science project for the class science fair. Then there are some decisions that have long-term consequences, such as the college you want to study in. Often, these decisions are based on information that is open-ended, incomplete, unstructured, and ambiguous.

Would you like your child to learn to ask the right questions to help parse through the information, and engage in open-ended problem solving to narrow down on a solution? Would you like them to learn this while solving engaging mysteries?

As our children gather information and explore new ideas, it is important to realize that there is more than one way to approach a problem. For example, your young child, when faced with the choice of strawberry ice cream vs cookies and cream, might reason that he or she can negotiate a return trip next week for the other flavor thus making the decision process a bit easier. While working on that science project, your child might realize that just as it is easier to balance yourself by spreading your legs, a tower with a wide base will stand more steadily. While helping you to hang up a TV, your child might reason that it is easier to find a wall stud by opening up a nearby socket and using a phone as a video camera to spot the stud through the hole (a true story!). While solving higher level math problems in Algebra, Geometry, and Calculus, your child will start forming relationships between the various conjectures and formulas.

Would you like your child to solve a variety of puzzles that promote deductive, inductive, analytical, and logical reasoning?

As our children progress through school, they are exposed to a variety of content in all subjects, including language arts, math, science, and social studies. As they move from simple nursery rhymes to fairy tales to facts and fiction to scientific and literary passages, they have to understand the content, express the central meaning of passages in their own words, and excel in reading and writing comprehension of the content. This prepares them for success in higher level subjects, and in standardized testing.

Would you like your child to learn associative reasoning, increase vocabulary, and prepare for higher level reading and writing comprehension? Would you like them to solve riddles, learn analogies, and tackle verbal and non-verbal reasoning activities where they form relationships between objects and words by describing characteristics, recognizing similarities and differences, and grouping objects and words based on different classifications?

If you said “yes” to these questions, then we have something for you!

We are offering weekly sessions in an instructional, classroom based environment for students who are interested in developing in-depth critical thinking abilities. The curriculum will progressively move them towards deeper understanding and the higher skill levels that are important for success in academics and in life.