Why do we and our learners need to be critical thinkers? Let’s begin by discussing the living and learning skills teachers today believe that every student should foster in their school years and beyond them. Each time we’ve spoken to educators in our work around the world, we have asked them what they feel are the most important skills students need above all others. The answers that we’ve received most often are:
- Problem solving
- Analytic thinking
- Ethics, action, and accountability
A Changing World, Marketplace, and Workforce
“The Fourth Industrial Revolution, which includes developments in previously disjointed fields such as artificial intelligence and machine-learning, robotics, nanotechnology, 3-D printing, and genetics and biotechnology, will cause widespread disruption not only to business models but also to labour markets over the next five years, with enormous change predicted in the skill sets needed to thrive in the new landscape.”
Reflect back to how we thought about what was necessary to our survival and success 50, 30, or even 20 years ago. Are the same things important to us now as they once were? How has communication and the sharing of ideas transformed? How has doing business in a global marketplace and consuming goods and services changed? And what new problems and challenges will these and future innovations bring that require a certain capacity for critical thinking in order to manage them in our lives?