Fostering Analytical Skills In Schools

Most people who get an opportunity to think about analytical skills are often of the opinion that they are simple skills in terms of the grading one was able to achieve. Conversely, analytical skills are those which one can improve upon; articulation, visualization and problem solving (both simple and complex). What a wide demographic has not realized is that these skills are important in every career that one might be delving into. It is common to come across teachers and parents alike complaining on the fact textbooks used in schools today do little to teach children how to think critically. They teach them what they should think. Multi-choice questions have for a long time been the face of standardized tests that so often provide little room for creative thinking. Some experts in education posit that teaching young children what they should think instead of how they should think amounts to indoctrination. The purpose of this essay is to give evidence to support why schools must foster analytical skills in the quest for an all-round education.

Analytical thinking challenges students to think deeper and interrogate an issue in ways that go beyond the superficial. A teacher may pose a question in class to students, and when they successfully answer the question, a new angle is introduced to challenge the students. Such students under-go a process that allows them to “think outside the box” and have a viewpoint common in higher-order thinking. These skills are crucial in helping an individual in real situations in future where their analytical skills come in handy to solve problems that they might encounter. Schools have come to the realization that these skills are crucial if they are to produce individuals who can make a difference in the work market (Gynther ). Employers also share the same opinion, that in this era of the application of technology in the work place, analytical skills will be important in ensuring that well thought out strategies are implemented, with all sides of the argument being looked into.

Proponents of a multi-choice structured evaluation tend draw support for their claims from the fact that all that the students are being asked to answer are questions from their curriculum. According to them, these expectations tend to achieving more due to the high standards that they are expected to accomplish, thus the need for this standardized form of evaluation (Birks). Additionally, there are those employers who are critical of employees with analytical skills as they are likely to initiate and participate in industrial strikes and campaigns that, for instance, aim to protect the environment. Harvard’s Wagner is of the opinion that firms want intellectuals, but what most of them do not need is an analytical thinker, for obvious reasons. General Motors, for example, needs employees who understand how a motor car works and can identify all the parts that make it(Clemmitt 32. What such a company seeks to avoid is to employ an individual who is analytical and capable of questioning why it still produces Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) that have the ability to damage the environment through pollution.

In conclusion, it is important that schools come to terms with the importance of their students gaining analytical skills to produce problem solvers for the job market. The standardized tests that are in use in most school curriculums hamper the creativity of a student and their ability to review a notion from all possible angles. It is therefore important for schools to foster these skills, to ensure that the individuals they mould are able to deal with any debacle that presents its self in life.

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