Educator friends, what does it mean to cultivate critical thinkers?
A critical thinker is not a cynical thinker. Too often, we value or even praise young people for their ability to be “critical” about events or people around them, believing that being able to find faults, poke holes, or even make fun of matters are signs of their mental acuity. In fact, those are often mere manifestations of small mindedness and posturing, or even just parroting grown-ups and peers.
A critical thinker must have the patience and fortitude to gather multiple aspects of any single issue before making up their mind. A critical thinker is not quick to judge and does not belittle.
So, when we teach young people — please remember to give them plenty of opportunities and time to practice patience and broadmindedness.