Promoting Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Essay in mathematics education is crucial in the development of successful students. Critical thinking and problem solving go hand in hand. In order for students to learn mathematics through problem solving, they must also learn how to think critically. Critical thinking has not been at the forefront of teaching strategies in schools. Teachers need to see the importance and the need to begin promoting these key strategies. Critical thinking is such an important aspect for children to learn in school.
Many adults today have no idea on how to think critically. This is very sad because thinking critically can broaden your mind and give you such a feeling of intelligence and self-confidence. It used to be that teachers just taught material and gave the answers without any explanation of how the answer can to be. The reason they never gave an explanation was because they were never taught to think critically or even if they were, teaching critical thinking is a lot harder than just giving students the answer. We, as future teachers, need to take our job seriously and not always try to find the easy way out when it comes to teaching material. We need to realize the importance of critical thinking and not put it on the back burner.
Another reason that many adults today do not think critically is that many educators have believed that only certain students are capable of thinking critically. Critical thinking strategies are usually only taught to the “advanced” students or the college prep students. Those students with lower grades and in vocational programs are not expected to use these strategies and therefore they are not introduced to them. This is very upsetting because everyone needs to learn these strategies. Critical thinking strategies are not only for the intelligent in an academic setting.
These strategies can be used in everyday life. They can be used for finances, relationships, and even in life choices. People lacking these critical thinking strategies can be very impulsive and make a lot of choices that end up hurting them in many ways. I read an article by Thomas Sowell called Justice and Injustice. I really enjoyed this article because he emphasized how children on welfare have only about half as many words directed at them as children of working-class families and less than one-third as many words as children whose parents are professionals.
He also noted how painful this is because scientists have found that the physical development of the brain is affected by how much interaction young children receive. This then links critical thinking with social and economic status. If educators continue to show higher expectations for more “well-off” students and lower expectations for others than we will never be able to help a child off welfare or give every child the chance and ability to succeed. Another article I read was entitled Intolerance is a Beautiful Thing. I am not sure who wrote it, but it is a wonderful article that promotes critical thinking on the subject of tolerance.
The author claims that the original meaning of the word “tolerance” has changed. The old meaning was “the acknowledgement of the views, beliefs and others that differ from one’s own. ” The new meaning is “viewing all values, beliefs, lifestyles, and truth claims as equal. ” The author goes on to say how the meaning excludes Christianity because that religion is exclusive and believes that Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven. So by the new meaning of the word “tolerance”, Christians are intolerant even though they acknowledge and respect others regardless of race, gender and religion.
To the author, “intolerance is a beautiful thing”. This article really made me critically think about how society views tolerance. I had to think about the points made in this article and reflect on my knowledge and past experiences with the word tolerance. In 2000, the NCTM’s Principals and Standards document stated:Solving problems is not only a goal of learning mathematicsbut also a major means of doing so….
Problem solving is anintegral part of all mathematics learning, and so it should not be an isolated part of the mathematics program. Problem sol-ving in mathematics .