18 Jul 2022


Interview: Activities to Encourage Creative Thinking

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Academic level: High School

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Critical thinking is the ability to acquire and analyze information then conceptualize it. The concepts are then applied in synthesizing and evaluating the information acquired and used to make a reasoned judgment. Critical thinking is thus directed towards maximizing the rationality of the thinker. Critical thinking is thus not used to solve problems, but it is used to improve one’s process of thinking. 

In an interview to encourage a six-year-old in critical thinking, I asked the child how many things he could think of that are yellow, and he responds well. He first responds by saying that a box is yellow. He also says that light is yellow. Similarly, he says that a truck is yellow. When I asked him of something outside that is yellow, he responds by saying that the sun yellow. Also, asking him if the sun is hot or cold, he responds that it is hot and says we cannot touch the sun because it is hot and it is far away. When I asked him about foods that can be yellow, he answers by saying bananas are yellow. However, he also says cheese is yellow, but he is unsure of his answer. 

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Comparatively, when I asked him if he knows any yellow animal, he says that a bird is yellow. He also says a flower is yellow. When I asked him if he knows if he knows how to imitate the sound made by a duck, he responds well by imitating it. He also says a shark is yellow, but I remind him that the shark we are talking about lives under water. The boy also says a butterfly is yellow. 

The most effective questions that the boy responds to in critical thinking are the ones that I retaliate. In this case, I have to give him more description of something so that he can remember well. For example, in the case where he says that a shark is yellow, I had to remind him that sharks live in water. It is then that his critical thinking is improved and remembers that sharks are not yellow ( Cottrell, 2017 ). This shows how critical thinking can be used to improve a person’s thinking capacity and not used in solving problems. 

Besides, when I asked the boy if the sun if the sun can, is hot or cold, he responds by saying that it is hot. This shows how giving choices has helped the boy think and not solving the problem at hand ( Smith, 2018 ). It gave him a clue which steered his critical thinking, and he further says that besides the sun being hot, it cannot be touched because it is far away. 

Some responses that the boy gave me were surprising. In the case when I asked if the sun can be touched, he responds by giving two answers. First, he says the sun cannot be touched because it is hot. He also responds by saying that we cannot touch the sun because it is far away. This respond was surprising because I did not expect him to be that smart. He was only six years old and already knew that the sun was far away and also too hot to be touched. 

Beside the boy being smart, I had to act differently to ensure that he answers all the questions I asked him. First, I had to retaliate on questions I asked so that the boy he gets the whole content. This helped him to synthesize and analyze the concept before he responded ( Fisher, 2015 ). This thus shows the importance of emphasizing on things since they help in critical thinking. 

The use of retaliation, ( Davis, 2010 ) emphasizing on things I asked and also the clues I was giving the boys is evidence on the development level of the boy. This shows that young children usually take long to synthesize and analyze things they are dealing with. With the aid of clues and repetition, the children can be dealt with perfectly, and they can answer all questions. This shows the importance of using clues, retaliation, and emphasis in critical thinking. 

When dealing with children of different ages or abilities, it good to first create a good rapport with the children to understand their development stages. Children of older than ten years can be able to understand a question easily compared to those below the age of ten years ( Cottrell, 2017 ). Thus, they require less retaliation in order to boost their critical thinking. 

In conclusion, critical thinking is thus steered towards increasing the thinking capacity. Critical thinking is not a problem-solving activity, but it speeds up the thinking capacity of a person. In addition, the critical thinking of people differs from each other due to the age and abilities of the person. Also, critical thinking can be boosted to increase the thinking speed or the response speed of a person. As observed, use of clues in when interviewing a person helps increase the critical thinking of the individual. Also, the use of repetition and emphasizing the key points of the questions improves the critical thinking of an individual. 


Cottrell, S. (2017).  Critical thinking skills: Effective analysis, argument and reflection

Davis, E. (20 1 0).  Critical thinking in young children . Lewiston (N.Y.): E. Mellen. 

Fisher, R. (20 1 5).  Teaching children to think . Cheltenham: Stanley Thornes. 

Smith, J. C. (2018).  Critical thinking: Pseudoscience and the paranormal

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