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ERIC Number: EJ1002591
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1056-0300
Real-World Problems: Engaging Young Learners in Critical Thinking
Cole, Bronwyn; McGuire, Margit
Social Studies and the Young Learner, v24 n4 p15-17 Mar-Apr 2012
Critical thinking is a process that can be taught. It involves "evaluating the accuracy, credibility, and worth of information and lines of reasoning. Critical thinking is reflective, logical, evidence-based, and has a purposeful quality to it--that is, the learner thinks critically in order to achieve a particular goal." The authors have found that young learners will engage in critical thinking and purposeful decision-making when they feel affectively involved or connected to a problem or decision point; cognitively challenged yet capable of working on the problem or decision; and operatively, or behaviorally, prepared and supported with thinking strategies or tools that will help them to organize their thinking. Myriad programs tout strategies for developing students' thinking skills. With many known by their acronyms, teachers face an alphabet soup of ideas and strategies. If students are to transfer and apply higher-order thinking and critical thinking skills to real life situations, then these skills should be taught within the context of powerful social studies lessons and units. In this article, the authors present three frequently used teaching strategies integrated into a unit about families and neighborhoods, which authentically enhances students' skills in thinking, making decisions, and resolving problems. These three strategies are: (1) HOTS (Higher Order Thinking Skills); (2) PMI (Plus/Minus/Interesting); and (3) HATS (Six Thinking Hats). (Contains 9 notes.)
National Council for the Social Studies. 8555 Sixteenth Street #500, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 800-683-0812; Tel: 301-588-1800: Fax: 301-588-2049; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A