How Can You Teach Kids To Think?

My mission this past year has been to listen more and ask better questions. Creating drones is easy, but building capacity in a person takes a lot of forethought and effort. With the ease we now possess to instantaneously research facts, rote memorization should be a thing of the past. People need to learn to think on their own, adapt, and problem solve.

Synthesizing information into complex mental maps is a learned skill that we have to teach by asking the right questions. Asking students to elaborate, create, delete, build, modify, imagine, and invent will help take their thinking to the next level. What do you suppose would happen if…? Can you predict the outcome if…? How could you improve…?

In the words of Voltaire, “Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.”

For students to truly learn, they must engage deeply with the material. As an instructor, if you find yourself working harder than the students, than you are the one learning the material, not them. Make sure that you are creating opportunities for them to think and synthesize the information. Provide wait time with your questions and give them space and time to think.