Green Thinking For the Future – Critical Thinking Comes After


Trying to inspire children and adults to believe that thinking is cool and fun is hard work. Even though many people believe that it is important to think, few people actively tries to improve the character of thinking. It is a tricky business to enhance awareness about different approaches to thinking and about ways to enhance thinking about thinking or meta cognition. A  difficult topic far, far away from big money and glory. Yet an inner voice inside me keeps telling me to follow my heart and maybe after all this is where my heart is.

Critical Thinking is not Enough. . .

Critical thinking has a high value and although the character of critical thinking has changed  and now often involves creative aspects, it is  fruitful to explore the limitations of the way critical thinking is often used. After all, critical thinking is often regarded as the ultimate goal of education and the only aspect of thinking that is explored in schools.

Imagine that we want to think about green innovations. We want to explore ways that the future will be  greener and more sustainable. Before we can use critical thinking to react on ideas and suggestions we need to have something to react upon.

To get these ideas, we need to use thinking that is generating ideas and has a creative character. So unless we simply want to criticise and react on the something, we need to teach children to get ideas. Understanding when to use different approaches to thinking is crucial and so is planning the ways we can reach the goal. If we want reactions to a suggestions and idea, we do not want creative ideas at this particular moment.

It requires less work to criticise and react to ideas than to create something. Children need to learn skills in critical thinking as well as creative thinking. And they need to discover the joy of using different approaches to thinking.

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