Today we have the pleasure of hearing directly from a student — recent graduate Marquis Thompson from Cesar Chavez Public Charter School in Washington, DC. We asked Marquis (center, below) to respond to a few questions and share his thoughts on critical thinking.
1) When have you had the opportunity to do “critical thinking” at school? What was it like? Why is it important to you?
I’ve had the opportunity to do critical thinking at school within all of my AP classes (History, Government, English Language, English Literature, and Calculus) Each of those classes made me think about how my thinking could be stronger, and what could I do to refine my thoughts and improve my knowledge within the class. The higher standards of those AP classes simply create the need for greater thinking, and it is then that us students realize that the level of of thought already existent in regular classes simply isn’t going to cut it. I enjoyed being pushed and having to reevaluate and expand my thinking and how I take in knowledge. Not only has that prepared me for college, but it also has taught me to think further than the norm in terms of everyday life situations. I believe that it’s important for all students to develop these same critical thinking skills. The form of enlightenment that is a student realizing that his or her thinking can be pushed past what their used to should be felt by each and every student, instead of just those in AP classes.
2) What has helped you improve your thinking? What should teachers do more of?
The space and ability to ask questions has always allowed me to improve my own thinking, and I believe that it is a wonderful thing to be able to do. I think that the teachers should facilitate more critical thinking questions in order to push students past their limits. I also believe that the intellectual standards should be a universal lesson taught in all classes, as learning about them in AP History helped expand my thinking and writing.
3) What has not worked for you? What should teachers stop doing?
I believe that teachers should make sure that no students are getting along with at the minimum of their thinking capability. The limits of all students must be passed and breached in order to create a stronger group of critical thinkers.
Wow. Great advice. ALL students need to be challenged to think critically. The intellectual standards should be taught universally. Being pushed to expand and revise your thinking can lead to a sense of enlightenment.