‘Thinking about thinking in order to improve thinking.’
Good decision-making requires good critical thinking. In this competitive world, every individual requires strong and high thinking skills. It becomes more important when it comes to students as they are the future. Students who have developed this skill at an early age will become better leaders, better humans both at professional and personal level as scope of critical thinking is not limited to academic performances. With this objective a one-day session with Prof. Milan Pandya was organised including an interaction with teachers and the students on 27th July 2022. Mr. Milan Pandya is Vice-President at Critical Thinking Solutions, Ontario, Canada. He is a teacher, trainer and an educator in the field of critical, creative and design thinking, English language teaching and communication skills. The teacher interaction was entirely focussed on how crucial it is at the level of the student to develop the attitude to analyse and derive a conclusion in the decisions they make using reason and logic about a case or a concept. He also elaborated on how we can inculcate these skills into our regular thinking. He emphasised on questioning as a part of learning, and to avoid deceit and misinformation. Prof. Pandya demonstrated it practically through the Thought experiment, putting teachers into a situation that would help them understand what are student experiences when put through various situations wherein they would require rightful decisions, make valid conclusions. He concluded with a message - In this world where opinions are regarded as facts, clear thinking and thought process play a key role in systematic and logical way to put one’s point forward.
Mr. Pandya had a light-hearted yet very insightful session with the students. He pointed out the significance of developing critical thinking in order to
(1) analyse fake news vs. real news
(2) misguided information as critical thinking is going to be the survival skills and how important it is to express their perceptions and opinions openly.
He guided students through various brain exercises in order to make them understand how to chase ideas by using a filtering mechanism for creating new things - not to fall for misinformation. He presented a number of examples for the same and made students think critically and creatively by giving them situations wherein they had to answer for - If this is true what else has to be true with this. Students interacted enthusiastically during this session and found it extremely intuitive. Another activity to classify given items into categories was a rather interesting task they participated in. Students came with savvy answers - classifying them into living and nonliving things to capital intensive goods and so on. Alongside, he pointed to the role of emotions, diverging and converging thinking in systematic strategy that can be used in solving problems. The interaction concluded with a healthy question answer session.
The major takeaway of the session for the students was the insight into developing critical thinking skills.