Thinking about your thinking: 7 ways to improve critical thinking skills

When I was in 7th grade, my U.S. history teacher gave my class the following advice: Your teachers in high school won't expect you to remember every little fact about U.S. history. They can fill in the details you've forgotten. What they will expect, though, is for you to be able to think; to know how to make connections between ideas and evaluate information critically. I didn't realize it at the time, but my teacher was giving a concise summary of critical thinking. My high school teachers gave similar speeches when describing what would be expected of us in college: it's not about the facts you know, but rather about your ability to evaluate them. And now that I'm in college, my professors often mention that the ability to think through and solve difficult problems matters more in the "real...

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Experimenting with Homeschooling offers an opportunity to cultivate the virtues of independence & original thinking

I was homeschooled for eight years, from age 11 through to college, before it was a novel way for tiger parents to show off their dynamic commitment to their children's education. Now, if millions of parents and families are suddenly going to be homeschooling their kids for the coming weeks (and, let's be honest, quite likely beyond), it's worth trying to think about how to do this in a manner as smooth, healthy and wise as possible. Learning at home is quite different from learning at school. It requires us to reorient how we think about learning in general, and how we approach the process with our children - maybe even with ourselves, too. Historically, education has been the province of parents. But the question of how kids spend their time, and learn, and grow, is one to which society...

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Time management: 6 techniques from the Stoic philosopher Seneca

True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not." ― Seneca Locked in prison by Henry Bolingbroke (Henry IV) in Shakespeare's Richard II, Richard II gives a haunting speech about his hopeless fate. One line stands out, as it captures perfectly, the reality of nearly every human being — indeed, it sounds like it was cribbed from Seneca's On The Shortness of Life. "I wasted time," Richard II says, "and now doth time waste me." We think that...

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