Parent Letter - 7/1/22
Dear Parents and Families of RCS,
Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” The Bible is very clear about the necessity to seek knowledge and develop wisdom. It can come from divine inspiration, but is more likely to come from what we learn and how we apply it.
In this fourth installment of the summer information series, we look at the benefits of critical thinking and how to develop it. Learning happens at multiple levels – from memorizing a phone number to the synthesis of a new concept or invention from previous information. One of my favorite examples of this is the scene from the movie Apollo 13. The engineers on Earth had to create a CO2 filter for a round cartridge out of a square filter and the scraps and parts the astronauts had in space, then be able to recreate a step-by-step instruction sheet. But, since most of us (most likely all of us – haha) won’t ever need that knowledge in space, why is it important to the rest of us?
In the blog “The Benefits of Critical Thinking and How to Develop It”, there are five benefits to developing critical thinking. First, it helps to improve decision making. Developing higher-order thinking helps to process multiple pieces of information more quickly and systematically. From the example above, it also enhances problem-solving ability. Since students need to develop research skills (not just for college but for anything that involves a major choice or decision in life), it helps with analyzing and synthesizing every aspect of details for a better result. This can also refine and polish their creativity. Finally, thinking critically stimulates curiosity, which is paramount to the development of new ideas, inventions, and “outside the box” problem solving.
So, how do we foster this? Ask questions. This leads to greater curiosity and clarifies thinking. Second, scrutinize the consequences. Asking questions will lead to things like “what will happen if…?”, and helps us to see the outcomes more clearly. We should also develop active listening. Being engaged in what we hear rather than just being present when someone else is speaking helps us be more informed and become better decision makers.
Our world is continually changing and becoming more complex. Our students need the skills to be able to process information and make informed, creative decisions based on strong convictions. Knowledge and insight as we seek the Lord leads to wisdom; this develops the ability to think critically and help point a lost world toward their loving Creator.
Happy Independence Day! Remember to thank those who have served and are serving our great country that we may have freedom. We love you and are grateful for you.
Bill Sharp, M.Ed.
Head of School