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How to Encourage Girls to Think Critically

How to Encourage Girls to Think Critically

AUGUST 18TH, 2020

We’re big fans of teaching critical thinking skills to girls because we believe they are naturally empowering. Critical thinking makes it easier for girls to solve complex problems, analyze situations to determine if something’s safe or a good idea (vs. just following others), and question media images and messages. In a world where girls are bombarded by images that can reinforce gender stereotypes and limit what they see as possible for themselves, being able to think critically about those messages is particularly important.  

So today we’re sharing three easy ways you can encourage girls to think critically.

Ask Questions

Educator Brian Oshiro suggests using questions to get girls thinking. When you’re hanging out at home chatting with your kids, don’t just answer their questions—be sure to ask some questions too. For example, if they express concern about something like litter/trash, ask them why they’re worried. Follow-up with questions like Why does it matter? What could be done to fix the problem? What might stand in the way of solving this? How would life be different without this problem?  

These types of questions are great because they help kids move away from simple yes and no answers and really think about a problem. In time they can learn to do things like analyze the problem, evaluate possible solutions, and consider the potential impact of their actions.

Explain your own perspective and decisions

Just as modeling a healthy body image can help girls develop a healthy body image, modeling critical thinking skills can help girls develop their own thinking. We all put a lot of thought into the decisions we make throughout the day, but kids don’t always know that if we don’t mention it. The next time a child asks why you’ve made a particular decision, try to break it down for them and show how you analyzed the problem, considered possible solutions and ended up choosing a course of action.

Embrace a Growth Mindset

This one is indirectly related to developing critical thinking skills, but can really help with the attitude and spirit that kids bring to these kinds of conversations. When you teach girls to have a growth mindset, they’re more likely to embrace challenges and take an earnest interest in learning and asking questions, vs. getting frustrated if they don’t have the answers right away. There’s more to it, but in essence a growth mindset is about realizing that everyone has the capacity to learn and get better at things, and no one is born being great at everything.
We hope you find these tips helpful!
How to Encourage Girls to Think Critically

AUGUST 18TH, 2020

We’re big fans of teaching critical thinking skills to girls because we believe they are naturally empowering. Critical thinking makes it easier for girls to solve complex problems, analyze situations to determine if something’s safe or a good idea (vs. just following others), and question media images and messages. In a world where girls are bombarded by images that can reinforce gender stereotypes and limit what they see as possible for themselves, being able to think critically about those messages is particularly important.  

So today we’re sharing three easy ways you can encourage girls to think critically.

Ask Questions

Educator Brian Oshiro suggests using questions to get girls thinking. When you’re hanging out at home chatting with your kids, don’t just answer their questions—be sure to ask some questions too. For example, if they express concern about something like litter/trash, ask them why they’re worried. Follow-up with questions like Why does it matter? What could be done to fix the problem? What might stand in the way of solving this? How would life be different without this problem?  

These types of questions are great because they help kids move away from simple yes and no answers and really think about a problem. In time they can learn to do things like analyze the problem, evaluate possible solutions, and consider the potential impact of their actions.

Explain your own perspective and decisions

Just as modeling a healthy body image can help girls develop a healthy body image, modeling critical thinking skills can help girls develop their own thinking. We all put a lot of thought into the decisions we make throughout the day, but kids don’t always know that if we don’t mention it. The next time a child asks why you’ve made a particular decision, try to break it down for them and show how you analyzed the problem, considered possible solutions and ended up choosing a course of action.

Embrace a Growth Mindset

This one is indirectly related to developing critical thinking skills, but can really help with the attitude and spirit that kids bring to these kinds of conversations. When you teach girls to have a growth mindset, they’re more likely to embrace challenges and take an earnest interest in learning and asking questions, vs. getting frustrated if they don’t have the answers right away. There’s more to it, but in essence a growth mindset is about realizing that everyone has the capacity to learn and get better at things, and no one is born being great at everything.
We hope you find these tips helpful!

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