Solving: What Skills Are Really Involved?
Teaching Problem Solving Skills
May, 2005, by The Critical Thinking Co.™
From learning to zip up a jacket
to acing the SATs, problem solving
is a skill that can never be learned
too early and never stops being useful.
Problem solving cannot be accurately
described as a single skill, though;
rather it is a complex set of skills
that work together. Problem solving
involves logic, associative reasoning,
creative thinking, and deductive reasoning
to move from a set of given principles
or circumstances to the desired result.
Learning problem solving should start
early in life so that the mind creates
the appropriate pathways and builds
a catalog of associations and knowledge
that can be built upon later. The
Critical Thinking Co. has developed
a number of products to help young
children learn problem solving skills
before they even start Kindergarten.
These tools use fun puzzles, riddles,
and stories to start kids thinking
critically and creatively.
Problem solving becomes even more
crucial as math and science classes
start getting progressively harder.
For students who have not been exposed
to much problem solving preparation,
this is the time that they must start
receiving the proper training. Though
the explosive development of early
childhood has passed, kids in their
teens are still quite capable of rapidly
developing problem solving and critical
Critical Thinking products are based
on education, not on age. It is never
too late to start thinking critically
and developing strong analytical habits--though
the longer you wait the harder it
gets. Critical thinking is useful
in any field of endeavor because it
serves to create a deeper understanding
of the subject matter or task at hand.
Critical thinking and problem solving
are intimately linked because they
both require active participation
and mental agility.
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