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Critical thinking a key skill in digital age

The commentary “Managing disruption in the Digital Age” (July 24) is an interesting piece that gives an analysis of the lenses that individuals, governments and businesses should be looking through to make sense of this digital age.

It is an age when skills gained or mastered can no longer be considered purely hobbies, but rather go towards building a rounded, possibly innovative but definitely versatile individual.

I agree that everyone, especially the young, should be plugged into world events. The breakneck pace of political, social and economic developments will impact them the most (Use current affairs to teach students critical thinking; Aug 1, online).

Current affairs is one source for debating issues. Critical thinking, I believe, comes as a subset of being inquisitive and alert to changes. Being able to see issues collaterally helps, for it is about seeing the big picture.

An active, analytical mind needs little incentive to delve deeper and go further in search of viable solutions or even to gauge if whatever is said or seen makes sense.

Many who are critical thinkers may also have a flair for project work, as the challenge of reaching an acceptable solution to a problem provides the adrenaline drive.

Collating and assimilating facts with a keen eye — the ability to discern what is or is not material — is a useful skill set. A good grasp of principles is another, while common sense is a bonus.

How much of critical thinking can be structured as a subject and taught in school is debatable. It is, as with the rest, a skill set.

Is it more likely that such skill sets are developed primarily before a child goes to school?

While nature is given, nurture provides opportunities for us to hone skills that need space to experiment and time to mature and flourish.

In this postmodern era, education is becoming more holistic — understanding basic principles and applying them on multiple levels and platforms — and thus discernment is becoming a new buzzword.

Read more: TodayOnline