We Must Promote Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Essay

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Promoting critical thinking and problem solving in mathematics education is crucial in the development of successful students. Critical thinking and problem solving go hand in hand. In order for students to learn mathematics through problem solving, they must also learn how to think critically. Critical thinking has not been at the forefront of teaching strategies in schools. Teachers need to see the importance and the need to begin promoting these key strategies.
Critical thinking is such an important aspect for children to learn in school. Many adults today have no idea on how to think critically. This is very sad because thinking critically can broaden your mind and give you such a feeling of intelligence and self-confidence. It used to be that teachers just taught material and gave the answers without any explanation of how the answer can to be. The reason they never gave an explanation was because they were never taught to think critically or even if they were, teaching critical thinking is a lot harder than just giving students the answer. We, as future teachers, need to take our job seriously and not always try to find the easy way out when it comes to teaching material. We need to realize the importance of critical thinking and not put it on the back burner.
Another reason that many adults today do not think critically is that many educators have believed that only certain students are capable of thinking critically. Critical thinking strategies are usually only taught to the "advanced" students or the college prep students. Those students with lower grades and in vocational programs are not expected to use these strategies and therefore they are not introduced to them. This is very upsetting beca...

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... is that it is fun! When learning is fun, students have a better chance of remembering it later.
Promoting critical thinking and problem solving is crucial, not only for mathematics education, but in education in general. By teaching students these skills they have a better chance at succeeding in real life besides succeeding at an education. Many teachers have not always promoted these strategies. We, as future professional educators, need to realize the importance and need for this type of instructional approach.


"Intolerance is a Beautiful Thing". April 8, 2000.
Sowell, Thomas. "Justice and Injustice". December 28, 2000.
Van de Walle, John A. Elementary and Middle School Mathematics: Teaching
Developmentally, 4th ed. New York: Longman, 2001.

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