Critical Thinking

There is so much information and disinformation out there. Today the skill is about searching, interpreting and challenging what we find on Google. In an age where ready made answers are so common, it is helpful to instil in your child a healthy sceptical mind, that probes and quizzes any solution until fully satisfied.
Just one exercise a day can make a difference to your child's development. Each of the coaching cards below takes no more than five minutes and requires zero preparation.
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Desert Island

What ONE thing would you bring with you to a desert island?

Encourage your child to think about prioritisation.
Easy
Guidance
Explain the classic scenario of being stuck on a desert island but can only bring one thing with you.
Prompts if stuck
1) Why did you chose that?

Guidance

Explain the classic scenario of being stuck on a desert island but can only bring one thing with you. Encourage your child to brainstorm a list and consider pros and cons, before selecting one. Your discussion can be as practical (bring food) or fun (bring games) as you want!

Prompts if stuck

1) There is so much to choose from. Let's make a list first before deciding?

2) What are the pros and cons to having that, compared to other things?

3) What do you think I would chose and why?

Desert Island

What ONE thing would you bring with you to a desert island?

Encourage your child to think about prioritisation.
Easy

Guidance

Explain the classic scenario of being stuck on a desert island but can only bring one thing with you. Encourage your child to brainstorm a list and consider pros and cons, before selecting one. Your discussion can be as practical (bring food) or fun (bring games) as you want!

Prompts if stuck

1) There is so much to choose from. Let's make a list first before deciding?

2) What are the pros and cons to having that, compared to other things?

3) What do you think I would chose and why?

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Reduce Traffic

How can we reduce traffic on the roads?

Help your child to develop critical thinking skills.
Hard
Guidance
Talk about how to approach a problem from multiple perspectives, by wearing different "hats".
Prompts if stuck
Pose a problem, such as: How can we reduce traffic on the roads?

Guidance

Google "6 hat thinking" for a quick framework, that helps you see any problem from multiple angles, and teach it to your child.  Example for traffic problem: White - analyse when is traffic worst; Yellow - will be less pollution and noise; Black - cost of public transport will increase; Green - could do more ride sharing

Prompts if stuck

1) People are very used to using their cars. What would change their behaviour?

2) Of the 6 ways of thinking in the framework, which do you find easiest?

3) What colour hat should you remember to put on, given it is not your natural style?

Reduce Traffic

How can we reduce traffic on the roads?

Help your child to develop critical thinking skills.
Hard

Guidance

Google "6 hat thinking" for a quick framework, that helps you see any problem from multiple angles, and teach it to your child.  Example for traffic problem: White - analyse when is traffic worst; Yellow - will be less pollution and noise; Black - cost of public transport will increase; Green - could do more ride sharing

Prompts if stuck

1) People are very used to using their cars. What would change their behaviour?

2) Of the 6 ways of thinking in the framework, which do you find easiest?

3) What colour hat should you remember to put on, given it is not your natural style?

X
play audio version

Market Sizing

How many iPads are there in the UK?

Encourage your child to use structured thinking.
Medium
Guidance
Ask your child to estimate the size of a market or population.
Prompts if stuck
How many people live in the UK and how many households are there?

Guidance

Don't worry about getting the right answer here. What matters more is your child's ability to make sensible assumptions, guestimate in a structured way and not rely on Google!  Worked example: UK population = 70 million, assume 20 million households, assume 25% have bought an iPad. Gives about 5 million iPads.

Prompts if stuck

1) There must be lots! How can we make a good guess?

2) How many households are there in the UK?

3) How many of these might have bought an iPad?

Market Sizing

How many iPads are there in the UK?

Encourage your child to use structured thinking.
Medium

Guidance

Don't worry about getting the right answer here. What matters more is your child's ability to make sensible assumptions, guestimate in a structured way and not rely on Google!  Worked example: UK population = 70 million, assume 20 million households, assume 25% have bought an iPad. Gives about 5 million iPads.

Prompts if stuck

1) There must be lots! How can we make a good guess?

2) How many households are there in the UK?

3) How many of these might have bought an iPad?

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