The importance of Critical Thinking for students

All students once in their life have been in a situation of boredom in class. Likewise, every student due to the evaluation system hasn’t learned the most crucial things. The system is clear: to go to classes, take notes, and read a few chapters for the exam. Afterward, you do the writing exam with everything you memorized last night. What is common to happen in this situation is to forget everything after a little time. Therefore, this situation can leave us, wondering how efficient is the learning process provided by educational institutions after all.

At the moment, school is failing. The system itself is deracinated to memorization rather than thinking critically. In the future and also currently, companies are looking for a person with a critical-thinking mindset. Furthermore, thinking critically means being able to analyze and observe an issue, and take conclusions leading to the construction of a judgment related to the situation.

After all, what is the best way to learn in order to build up critical thinking? There are two options for learning, namely: hands-on learning and project-based learning. The first way is concerned with the practical aspect of learning. The students acquire knowledge through interaction and experience. The second way is related to solving a real-world problem which stimulated our solving problem capacity. In fact, the engagement from students concerned about the learning process under these two approaches increases significantly compared to the traditional process of learning.

However, the number of positive outcomes of thinking critically is endless, and in the future will be not just an extra skill, but something required obligatorily. Additionality, this skill is essential when it comes to the student’s development, as future employers and good citizens. 

The current, globalized world is asking for more from the next generation. For this reason, it’s highly crucial to think without any boundaries. One of the first reasons is the fact most future jobs don’t exist at the moment, yet, will require critical thinking from the next employers. 

For an uncertain future and workplace, problem-solving is one of the key skills to adapt to a more virtual, remote, and independent working approach. Another main reason is technological evolution. Students need to be flexible and able to use different tools accordingly to the possible changes. In fact, thinking critically allows them to adapt quickly and to decide which working tools should remain and which ones should be adopted as new.

On the whole, It is time to modernize the educational approach and start a kind of revolution. As the world is changing in a fast-paced, educational strategies should adjust as well. Evidently, what was acceptable in the 20th century is no longer in the current century. It does not work anymore to use the same process learning strategy of many years ago, applied to the new generation. Youth are living in a new digital Era and the future requires new skills. What should be the answer? I would say:  It’s time to revolutionize!

Another way to develop your critical thinking is to have an experience abroad. USA Internships offer several options and we follow you up during all processes. Plus, for more tips, we also have the inspiration blog full of interesting insights. Don’t forget to read our latest blog ‘5 reasons to contribute to student employability’. It only takes one click to change everything!  

Marina Fernandes
Marina Fernandes

Master's in Marketing and Strategy | University of Minho

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