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Raising Critical Thinkers: A Parent’s Guide to Growing Wise Kids in the Digital Age [Book Review]

Last Updated on 15 June 2024

This is a good book about raising critical thinkers, but it's not without its drawbacks if you think about it.

Written by Julie Bogart, with a foreword by Barbara Oakley, the book aims to guide parents in fostering a thoughtful and questioning mindset in their children.

Open-Mindedness & Curiosity

raising critical thinkers

One of the book's key strengths is its focus on cultivating an open-minded and curious mindset in children. Bogart encourages parents to create an environment where questioning, exploring, and thinking deeply about various topics are valued.

This approach helps children develop a habit of looking at issues from multiple perspectives and understanding that there is often more than one correct answer or way of thinking.

Exercises and Activities

The author provides numerous exercises and activities that parents can use to help children practice critical thinking in real-life contexts. However, I am a bit ambivalent about their usefulness. While touted as valuable starting points to nurture critical thinking skills, these exercises and activities are repetitive and tiresome, making them difficult to manage for busy families.

Lack of Depth

While the book provides a broad overview of critical thinking, it lacks depth in certain areas. The book could benefit from more detailed explanations and concrete examples to better illustrate the application of critical thinking skills in various contexts.

Instead, key concepts and ideas are reiterated multiple times without adding new information or insights, which can make the reading experience feel redundant.

Overly Idealistic

Furthermore, the book seems to be aimed more at home-schooling parents or those with the time and resources to engage deeply with their children's education.

For those parents who rely on traditional schooling and have limited time for additional educational activities, the book may present an overly idealistic view of parenting and teaching critical thinking.

Even the author admitted that the strategies outlined may not be practical or easily implementable for all families, particularly those dealing with real-world challenges and time constraints.

Despite these criticisms, “Raising Critical Thinkers: A Parent's Guide to Growing Wise Kids in the Digital Age” should be appreciated for its focus on an important skill set – the emphasis on nurturing critical thinking skills in children.

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