Evidence suggests that teaching critical thinking and problem solving is important but difficult

Important

  • Problem solving and critical thinking are a big part of the new primary curriculum in England
  • Learning these skills enables pupils to access more challenging content in secondary schools
  • More and more jobs require solving non-routine problems collaboratively (see 'Education to Employment' report by McKinsey & Co)

Difficult

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Employers across Europe have a similar view on where skills are missing. Source: 'Education to Employment' report by McKinsey & Co.

Critical thinking is not a set of skills that can be deployed at any time, in any context. It is a type of thought that even 3-year-olds can engage in - and even trained scientists can fail in.
— Daniel Willingham in "Critical thinking: why is it so hard to teach?"