Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Thinking skills - A Must for kids

Most of the time, children are busy cramming facts, without even letting themselves stand back to think about what new areas still needs to be discovered. Cramming makes their thinking become sluggish and make them overlook the exciting fact that there is still much to be investigated and revealed in any topic. Hence it is important that we need to make the child understand the benefits of thinking individually. Thinking skills are an essential part in a child's life. First and the foremost, the thinking skill help the child to think about an information in a crystal clear way. Thus it paves the way for them to understand that the knowledge is not something that is created by others and passed on to them; they have got the piece of the information themselves.So my idea is to engage them in the following five key areas for clear thinking:

  • What do I know about this topic?
  • What are the facts about it?
  • What is still to be discovered or proved?
  • How could I sum up this topic in my own words?
  • What evidence do I have to support my opinion?
By this activity, we can help the kids gather knowledge and think through topics for themselves. This in turn will let them know, how to question things in classroom discussions and enhance their critical thinking. Your child can also practice this clear thinking pattern to access all other information that they come across in everyday life. For example, when they are watching television programmes or reading magazines with advertisements in them, they can get in to the habit of using their own independent thinking about products they see, instead of passively accepting all the "blurb" that is blasted at them as undisputed fact. Thus by kindling thinking skills in kids, they would become aware of two great natural abilities they possess : imagination and critical thinking. By combining these two abilities they will be following a pattern of thinking that unlocks creativity - naturally!

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Identify your smartness

When Dr. Howard Gardner, a professor of cognition and education at Harvard University, suggested the idea of multiple intelligences in the 1980s, he started a revolution. Before this, intelligence was almost entirely judged in relation to IQ. Tests covered mathematical and linguistic skills, with a bit of problem-solving thrown in for good measure. When IQ tests effectively sifted academic individuals from those who were more practical by nature, they were a poor indicator of future success in life, love or work. They also provided a very limited definition of what it was to be smart.
Gardner’s idea is remarkably simple and it goes with the grain of common sense. He identified eight types of intelligence, which I have described below. The final two types on the list have been added by other thinkers since Gardner developed his theory. See if you can recognize yourself in any or some of these descriptions.
You like words and stories. Word-play intrigues you and you are an avid reader. You have a good vocabulary. You probably enjoy learning languages. You like writing and may well be able to remember lists of words and tell good stories.
You seek to understand the relationships between different things. You like figures, puzzles, abstract problems and brain-teasers. You appreciate patterns, categories and systems.
You notice colour, form and texture. You probably use pictures to help you remember things, and diagrams, maps and doodles when you are making notes.  You may well be able to draw, paint or sculpt.
You enjoy physical exercise, sports and dance. You tend to be on your feet at the first opportunity whether in a meeting or at the party. You learn by rolling up your sleeves and getting on with things.
You are attuned to sounds and rhythms. You probably relished singing and listening to music from an early stage. You can recall songs and melodies well. Music impacts powerfully on your moods.
You tend to look within yourself, on a constant quest for self-knowledge. You may keep a diary of your experiences, moods and thoughts. You enjoy time to think and reflect, and you understand and mange your emotions well.
You enjoy other people’s company and getting to know people. Parties, meetings, team games and gregarious activities appeal to your nature. You show high levels of empathy with other people.
You are fascinated by nature and see things in it that pass others by. You probably like being outdoors and are fond of animals. You take a keen interest in your home environment, inside or outside.
You enjoy grappling with the fundamental questions of existence. You tend to act according to your principles, possibly questioning the normal ways of behaving in a given situation. You probably hold well-developed beliefs that you are ready to stand up for.
You like making things happen. You are often called on to fix, mend or assemble things, or to come up with situations. Where others talk about what needs to be done, you prefer to get on and do it.
Now that you know there exist different kinds of smartness, why don’t you identify yourself with one of these and strengthen you skills!