Critical Thinking Skills

I write career books for kids.  I hire kids.  I see what kids don’t know.  We often preach the wrong things, I think, by default, often…because we don’t even bother to mention them, but they are important important.

I liked this list from eSchool News because it lists one critical skill that I have read that employers consider the most important.  I will save it for last.  Here the 5 are with mini-comment from me:

  • Self-direction: Kids need to drive their own learning…at work a direct order is not a suggestion, and it’s up to you to figure out how to do the thing requested. This is a much needed much needed lifeskill!
  • Evidence-based thinking: Kids need to learn not to believe everything they see, hear, read. They need to do their own research and draw conclusions for themselves.  In my books, I often add “the Carole Marsh question.”  What it is?  It is:  WHAT DO YOU THINK?  Not what does your mom think, your teacher, your BFF…WHAT DO YOU THINK?
  • Persistence: You can’t give up so soon or so easily or…well, at all!

How wimpy!  One of my mottos is:  Success Does Not Come to the Wimpy!  Hang in there, try again, go around, go over, dig under…do what you gotta do, but don’t give up don’t give up.

  • Take Risks: Not stupid risks, calculated risks. Failure is an option; give yourself a chance to fail.  Fail because you thought it was a good idea and you tried.  Failure just means something didn’t work out right that way at this time.  Try again.  Succeed.  Succeed!
  • Ambiguity: Kids need to learn to move on without all the answers. With two contradictory whatevers.  With many options, but no true clear answer as to which is best.  So what?!  This is real life.  Real life is full of ambiguity.  May the best ambiguity handler win!  Win!

If you think the doubled words were an error, no, no.

It was my way to emphasize that these things are important.  Very important.  Print this out; give it to a kid.  Hint:  That kid may be 30!

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