Critical and Creative Thinking for Achieving the Highest Level of Human Cognition

Critical and Creative Thinking for Achieving the Highest Level of Human Cognition

24, April 2021

Why is critical and creative thinking important for every student irrespective of any discipline?

On the goal of the Washington Accord if a person wants to move globally for higher studies or jobs it is required to be equipped with three basic things viz knowledge, skill, and behaviour. In the era of digitalization, knowledge is abundantly available from infinite resources, therefore universities need to go beyond delivering just knowledge to students. Current students which are also addressed as millennial learners need to focus more on developing skills and behaviour along with gaining knowledge.

As per the research is concerned, millennial learners have minimal ability to listen and get distracted easily in long-hour sessions. Moreover, students always seek the simplest, safest, and easiest path to solve problems but this restricts students to develop as an individual. So, the educational framework needs to be engaging and interactive. This approach helps to leverage the skills and develop behavioural aspects to represent gained knowledge and showcase enhanced skills.

The World Economic Forum reports that pedagogies need to include a multidisciplinary approach more than pursuing a specialization in any program. The project-based learning approach is one of the key elements to increase the physical and mental integration along with the engagement of students. Faculty members are adopting project-based learning to provide a hands-on learning experience to students. The focus is more on providing the knowledge beyond the academic curriculum so learners can understand the actual users' (outside world) problems and act accordingly.

As the academic program progresses, the challenges are increasing in scale, complexity, and ambiguity. The project-based learning approach ensures learners invest energy, time, and effort. This approach leads them to ask questions and seek answers by reflection, collaboration, and interaction.

The faculty members act as facilitators and collaborators in this endeavour. Again the challenge is to meet up the future requirement by moving learners from their conventional learning process to this new pedagogical learning process, so as the learners achieve the highest level of cognition and become ready for the global industry demands.

Educating students with innovative pedagogy includes critical and creative thinking as the core of future education. Critical and creative thinking equips an individual to think and explore all possible solutions (divergent thinking). Divergent thinking allows learners to look for every possible solution that enhances behavioural skills and finally filters out the selected solutions (convergent thinking) keeping the user at the centre.

Demonstrating real-time case studies, discussing success stories of various critical thinkers leads to curiosity. Curiosity boosts creative thinking, which in turn works with critical thinking to enriched better problem-solving skills. Curiosity keeps the mind active, nimble (think and understand quickly), and able to notice useful things.

Practicing open-ended problems as an assignment explores maximum possible solutions that develop the problem-solving and critical thinking abilities of students. The subject knowledge helps to understand the fundamentals of the courses (conventional approach). But, practising such open-ended problems helps to acquire fundamental concepts and then apply, analyze, evaluate, and create solutions for real-world problems.

Therefore, passionate and committed faculty members play a crucial role in transforming the educational approach so as to keep the millennial generation inquisitive meaningful.

Written By

Kaliprasad Mahapatro

Assistant Professor, Avantika University


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