FAQ for Reboot Website
Critical thinking is a process that starts with reflection: thinking about your own thinking. The ultimate goal of critical thinking is to think objectively, rationally, and analytically about situations and problems. It requires practice differentiating between relevant and irrelevant information, taking into consideration opposing points of view, and having more tolerance of others.
The Reboot Foundation’s approach to critical thinking serves two goals: to fund (1) scientific experiments and surveys related to topics in critical thinking, and (2) a dynamic website available for those who want to cultivate capacity for critical thinking through pedagogy; info around what to do and not to do when developing critical thinking; and practical, concrete exercises.
In today’s dynamic world, critical thinking provides a crucial edge. Schools demand critical thinking capacities from their students, as do employers of their employees. With new technology and business models transforming one industry after another, there is enormous opportunity for sharper forms of thinking.
What’s more, weak reasoning and bad logic can lead to massive losses at any stage of life. Still, we tend to take less and less time to stop and hone our thoughts. We prioritize efficiency over reflection, and impulse over forethought. We comment on social media channels without thinking.
Part of the challenge is the quality and quantity of information. Afterall, we are bombarded with information, misinformation, facts and fake news. This information overload can be impossible to wade through without the critical thinking competencies to identify bias, question assumptions, and draw reasoned conclusions.
See more on our Insights for Adults and Professionals page for ways critical thinking applies to your daily life.
It is never too late to develop your critical thinking capacities. Adults can and do learn to develop their critical thinking, although starting early and with lots of practice helps to progressively develop and improve critical thinking.
Remember to really dig into a topic, gather lots of facts from reliable sources, ask pointed questions, and question initial assumptions. The Reboot Foundation has developed a SHARP framework as a step-by-step approach to reasoning that helps leverage critical thinking in daily life and decision-making.
See more on our Insights for Adults and Professionals page for concrete ways to improve your critical thinking as an adult.
Critical thinking approaches in education takes many forms: whereas some schools offer coursework specifically for developing critical thinking capacities, others develop mindsets for critical thinking that is manifest in school culture. Others still take a subject-specific approach to embedding critical thinking into the classroom based on what critical thinking looks like in a particular domain.
One thing is for sure, critical thinking cannot be limited to a buzzword. If we are going to emphasize critical thinking, we must also place a value on it, assess is, and hold students accountable to demonstrating critical thinking. They may be required to show their work, defend an opposing viewpoint, or break down topics into all its component parts.
Teachers can leverage the Socratic method to push students’ thinking through questioning, expecting students not only to learn, but also to understand why they are learning a certain topic
See more on our Insights for Children and Teens page for how other teachers and schools are conceptualizing and operationalizing critical thinking education.
It is possible to develop critical thinking at home. Kids as young as 7 can differentiate between opinion, argument, and proof, and those who think about their thinking are shown to perform better in school. Parents can help kids learn to engage in richer forms of thoughts and to grow more comfortable with expression and argumentation of different thoughts and opinions.
One of the most important roles of a parent in this domain is to provide a safe environment to test and practice such cognitive skills. Strategies as simple as asking “why” questions help to develop kids’ critical thinking skills on their own as they work through their argumentation.
See more on our Insights for Children and Teens page for other tools, programs and resources that can be used at home.
The Reboot Foundation is entirely supported by the generosity of Bruno and Helen Lee Bouygues. Helen Lee Bouygues serves as the President of the Foundation. All of the resources developed by the foundation are provided without charge.
The Reboot Foundation funds scientific experiments and surveys around critical thinking, including research that has contributed to our State of Critical Thinking report and Education Technology analysis. We also fund academic research contributing impactful and innovative topics in critical thinking.