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Scientists claim we are now smarter than our grandparents. Studies from across the globe have shown there to be a year on year improvement in children’s development. But how can we make our kids getting smarter?

All parents want their child to do well in school, stay out of trouble, and grow up to be a highly successful adult.  However, there is probably no set path to guaranteed success. However, there may be some guidelines that can improve kids odds.

World Economic Forum asks in an article; “Which countries have the smartest kids?” [1]

Asian countries have topped PISA’s latest global test of 15-year-olds, with China and Singapore ranking first and second The test measures performance in math, reading and science It also measures wellbeing and found only two-thirds of students said they were satisfied with their lives

The results are in for the OECD’s latest global test of 15-year-olds in math, science, and reading. The test, known as PISA (for Programme for International Student Assessment), is administered every three years and used—by some—to measure which countries are best preparing their students for the future [1].

Once again, Asian countries came out on top. In the latest test, China and Singapore ranked first and second, respectively, in math, science, and reading. Elsewhere, Estonia is noteworthy for its performance, ranking highly in all three subjects.

New York Times bestseller, The Smartest Kids was published in 15 countries and chosen by The Economist, The New York Times, The Washington Post and Amazon as one of the most notable books of the year. In a handful of nations, virtually all children are learning to make complex arguments and solve problems. They are learning to think, in other words. What is it like to be a child there? [2]

If we want children to thrive in our complicated world, we need to teach them how to think, says educator Brian Oshiro. And we can do it with 4 simple questions. [3] We all want the young people in our lives to thrive, but there’s no clear consensus about what will best put them on the path to future success. Should every child be taught to code? Attain fluency in Mandarin, Spanish, Hindi and English? Those are great, but they’re not enough, says educator and teacher trainer Brian Oshiro;

If we want our children to have flexible minds that can readily absorb new information and respond to complex problems, we need to develop their critical thinking skills. We all have to deal with questions that are a lot more complicated than those found on a multiple-choice test. We need to give students an opportunity to grapple with questions that don’t necessarily have one correct answer. This is more realistic of the types of situations that they’re likely to face when they get outside the classroom.”

How can we encourage kids to think critically from an early age? Through an activity that every child is already an expert at — asking questions.

  • Go beyond “what?” — and ask “how?” and “why?”
  • Follow it up with “How do you know this?”
  • Prompt them to think about how their perspective may differ from other people’s.
  • Finally, ask them how to solve this problem.

You can start this project any time on any topic; you don’t have to be an expert on what your kids are studying. This is about teaching them to think for themselves. Your role is to direct their questions, listen and respond. Meanwhile, your kids “have to think about how they’re going to put this into digestible pieces for you to understand it,” says Oshiro. “It’s a great way to consolidate learning.”

Critical thinking isn’t just for the young, of course. He says,

If you’re a lifelong learner, ask yourself these types of questions in order to test your assumptions about what you think you already know.” As he adds, “We can all improve and support critical thinking by asking a few extra questions each day.

References

  1. Jenny Anderson, Senior Correspondent, Which countries have the smartest kids? World Economic Forum, 05 Dec 2019
  2. https://www.amandaripley.com/the-smartest-kids-in-the-world
  3. Mary Halton, Critical thinking is a 21st-century essential — here’s how to help kids learn it, TED Apr 24, 2019 

Lucubrate Magazine February 2020

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Lucubrate Magazine
Lucubrate Magazine

Lucubrate Magazine highlights trends in education and development. Development in this context can be technological, educational, individual, social or global, and everything related to education.
Lucubrate Magazine is a global based on the web magazine with the main office in Norway.

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