Blake Davis

Strategies for Developing Critical & Creative Thinking

Strategies for Critical Thinking Skills

  • Incorporate a lot of group work. Group work inspires critical debate, analysis, and in-group competition among group members.
  • Ask higher-level, probing questions. When students have to move past the basic "yes/no" answer format, they begin to think more critically.
  • Make the material relevant to the students. When students feel a personal connection to the material, they are far more likely to become invested it critical analysis.
  • Require students to justify their answers. When a student knows that they will be expected to explain their responses to questions, they will put more thought and effort into answering the questions.
  • Encourage students to think in the right direction, but do not give them the answers. Instead, allow students to come to the conclusions on their own.

Strategies for Creative Thinking Skills

  • Establish a safe classroom environment. Students are more likely to exhibit creative thinking skill in an environment in which they do not feel judged.
  • Model creative thinking skills. Some students are weary of creative thinking because they are unsure of what to do. If a teacher models expected behaviors, these students will feel more at ease.
  • Permit time for creative thinking. Often, creative assignments take a while to complete. Do not rush students. Instead, encourage their creative endeavors and allow them to finish at their own pace.
  • Reward creative behavior. When students know that they will be rewarded for putting forth their best creative effort, they are more apt to do so in the future.
  • Recognize that mistakes will be made. Teach students to embrace these mistakes and learn from them, rather than emphasizing them as failures.