Critical thinking is useful for any person because of providing possibilities to analyze the situations and facts appropriately and find effective solutions to problems. Thus, it is necessary and useful for students to add critical thinking to the curriculum in the elementary school.
However, this idea can be discussed as a problem because of the aspects of its development and realization. The discussion of critical thinking course as the part of the curriculum is a problem because its solution can influence the lives of many people with references to changes in the curriculum, and this problem cannot be resolved immediately. To find an effective solution, it is necessary to develop a detailed plan in which the interests of all the parties are met (Choy, 2012).
To produce ideas to resolve the problem of adding the critical thinking principles to the curriculum, it is possible to use such methods as the collection of the necessary information, its interpretation and evaluation, and the process of concluding.
The collection of the facts and evidence on the usefulness of the critical thinking course is important to support the main idea; its evaluation provides the necessary information on the appropriateness of the facts for the concrete situation. The process of concluding is the most important stage which is directly connected with resolving the problem (Han, 2013). Any proposed ideas should be based on the realization of these three stages of critical thinking.
The effective resolution of the problem depends on overcoming the perceptual blocks. Thus, the problem of adding critical thinking to the curriculum can be resolved inadequately if the wrong assumptions are discussed. It is necessary to focus on the advantages of the process and analyze the possible disadvantages in detail to receive the complex picture of the problem (Paul & Elder, 2008).
Furthermore, it is useful to avoid inaccurate information on the problem, which can influence the perception of the idea. For instance, the inappropriate definition of the idea’s advantages can affect the discussion of the problem negatively, and critical thinking would not be discussed as an important course in elementary school.
While resolving the problem and analyzing the definite associated information, the researcher should detect bias and avoid it as the subjective vision of the problem which prevents from the complex discussion of all the aspects connected with the question.
To detect bias in the research on the necessity of adding critical thinking to the school curriculum, it is necessary to ask complete questions about all the proposed assumptions and discuss the problem from different perspectives, even if these perspectives are not shared by the researcher. The evaluation of the information should be based on the principles of accuracy, consistency, depth, and clarity (Paul & Elder, 2008).
The discussion of the critical thinking course as the part of the curriculum requires asking a range of open-ended questions which are oriented to presenting the information on the strengths and weaknesses of different solutions to the problem, on the effectiveness of the chosen solution, on the relevance of the discussed evidence, values, and assumptions.
The questions should not be vague to receive the concrete information on the topic. In spite of the fact that the questions should be clear and precise, the complexity of the proposed question also depends on the complexity of the topic discussed (Ruggiero, 2012). That is why it is relevant to determine sub-questions in the complex questions to receive complete information on the topic.
Focusing on the arguments in the research, it is important to evaluate their effectiveness in resolving a certain problem. There are several approaches to evaluate the arguments.
Thus, the researcher can justify the effectiveness of the argument with the help of credible evidences, to criticize the argument because of the lack of the effective facts to support it, to verify the argument with references to the authorities’ visions and opinions, and to decide about the relevance of the argument in relation to the concrete situation (Cotter & Tally, 2009). To evaluate the arguments on adding the critical thinking course to the curriculum, all the above-mentioned strategies are useful.
The main assumptions which are proposed while discussing the problem are associated with the effectiveness of the critical thinking course for developing the students’ thinking abilities and problem-solving skills. The effectiveness of the course is discussed with references to the sound evidence related to the topic.
Thus, the development of critical thinking is necessary for students, and it stimulates the improvement of general academic performance (Ruggiero, 2012). Nevertheless, there can be assumptions which are not supported with further investigation, for instance, assumptions about the educators and sociologists’ vision of the problem. Thus, only justifiable assumptions can be related to the research.
To present the idea of adding the critical thinking course to the curriculum and persuade the audience to share this idea, it is necessary to identify the audience clearly and prepare the arguments according to the knowledge and interests of the audience (Cotter & Tally, 2009). Furthermore, it is important to demonstrate the credibility of the facts and ideas provided with references to the sound evidence.
It is also important to remember about the situation that the audience can reject the idea that is why it is important to prepare a range of arguments which emphasize the advantages of the discussed idea or project. The researcher can rely only on credible information and facts which are accurately analyzed and presented to the public.
To communicate the ideas effectively means to receive the positive feedback to the presented information and persuade the audience to follow the plan proposed in the speech. Thus, all the key ideas should be presented clearly and precisely to be understandable for the audience.
As a result, it is important to use the language appropriate for the situation and audience. The ideas should be supported with credible facts and evidence. Moreover, the specific details about the plan of actions to realize the idea should be proposed with references to authorities’ opinions and other researches on the topic. The discussion of critical thinking as part of the curriculum in the elementary school also involves the emotional factor along with the logical argumentation and evidence (Han, 2013).
The problem of teaching critical thinking at school can be discussed with references to adding the specific course to the curriculum. In this case, it is important to focus on the advantages and disadvantages of the idea. The conclusion about the relevance of the idea should be based on the evaluation of the collected information on the topic (Cotter & Tally, 2009).
The next approach is the proposal of reforming the current methods of teaching critical thinking at school with accentuating the necessity to expand and improve methods used by teachers about critical thinking. From this point, the research is based on avoiding errors in reasoning.
Choy, S. (2012). Reflective thinking and teaching practices: A precursor for incorporating critical thinking into the classroom? International Journal of Instruction, 5(1), 167-182.
Cotter, E. M., & Tally, C. S. (2009). Do critical thinking exercises improve critical thinking skills? Educational Research Quarterly, 33(2), 3-14.
Han, H. (2013). Effects of critical thinking intervention for early childhood teacher candidates. Teacher Educator, 48(2), 110-127.
Paul, R., & Elder, L. (2008). How to detect media bias and propaganda. Retrieved from http://criticalthinkingforbusiness.org/MediaBias2006-DC.pdf
Ruggiero, V. R. (2012). The art of thinking: A guide to critical and creative thought. New York, NY: Pearson Longman.