At a young age we learn the five W’s: who, what, where, when, why. Perhaps this is the first time we’re formally introduced to critical thinking. Expect for many of us, this isn’t expanded on later in our education.
So many skills, like math, are taught to us in stages. We’re first taught the basics—how to count to 10, addition, subtraction, and so forth—and each year (or semester) we learn additional, perhaps more complex, concepts & techniques – algebra, calculus, logic, etc. The five W’s can be seen as the basic foundation to critical thinking and, unless I have selective memory, cannot recall learning more complex concepts or techniques until I elected to do so in college. And even then it wasn’t formal critical thinking training. I’ve had to piece the skills together in order to be a better critical thinker.
I’m amazed that we’re not being formally equipped with critical thinking skills in a world that is constantly changing, where anything can be found with a few clicks on the internet, where we’re under siege of everyone else’s opinion & expected to form an educated opinion of my own and where we’re constantly in a race against the clock to get everything done.
The reality is that critical thinking skills can predict someone’s success in the legal profession, are deemed crucial for health care professionals and more and more employers are looking for critical thinking skills in current and future employees. I have yet to find a job that can’t benefit from critical thinking skills.
So what’s the deal? Why weren’t we taught critical thinking skills in school? Why isn’t it easier to come across a top-notch program that can equip businesses with critical thinking skills & techniques?
Let me make it easier for you. There are training programs out there. ThinkWatson.com, for example, does a wonderful job outlining the solutions we offer.
Next week my team & I will welcome over 20 executives from various companies to experience a 2-day Critical Thinking Boot Camp at Pearson Education’s headquarters. I would like to applaud these folks for taking the initiative to experience a top-notch solution that can help develop their employees’ critical thinking skills.
This makes me wonder what other companies do. What do you do to help your employees become better critical thinkers?
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Elizabeth Pauker-Silva