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Teach Critical Thinking

(An excerpt from the Fostering Essential Dispositions video)

Across all ages and domains, early learning experiences will support children to be critical thinkers.

"Those supporting young children's growth and development should promote an understanding of the concepts behind specific skills (e.g., understanding quantity as well as learning the sequence of counting), provide opportunities to engage in higher-order thinking skills and encourage children to question the accuracy of information they receive." (From CT ELDS)

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    • Provide hands-on, meaningful experiences that promote investigation and probing questions
    • Provide opportunities to explore cause-and-effect, varying actions to achieve different results
    • Talk about what you are doing and describe children's actions
    • Help children make connections between new ideas and own experiences
    • Build upon prior knowledge
    • Identify children's current understandings and address misconceptions
    • Engage children in solving real-life problems
    • Talk about what you are thinking
    • Ask children to describe their thinking ("Why do you think so?")
    • Expose children to various viewpoints (e.g., read multiple versions of stories)
    • Use KWL charts and create webs with children
    • Use higher-order thinking framework (e.g., Bloom's Taxonomy or Webb's Depth of Knowledge) when planning experiences
  • This video was funded by the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood to support implementation of the Connecticut Early Learning and Development Standards (ELDS).