Critical thinking is named as one of the essential skills of the 21st century. And no wonder, because we live in a world where information is readily available. We need critical thinking skills to question and evaluate the information we receive. Whether in school or at work, the ability to discern, reason, and argue logically is indispensable.
Engaging in learning physics is one of the excellent ways to develop critical thinking skills. As a science subject, physics presents learners with various skills like research, experimentation and analysis. If you’re wondering how physics can make you a more critical thinker – here’s how:
If you have the chance to write a physics research paper, you will find yourself needing to source for tons of physics articles. How do you decide which articles are accurate, reliable, and useful?
What helps you decide is critical thinking. The circumstances will teach you to assess your goals and the evidence that you need to pick out the sources that are useful to you. By cross-referencing and studying the arguments made by the authors, you will also learn how to assess the reliability of these materials. These are essential skills in doing any kind of research, whether academic or otherwise.
The experiments in physics will teach you the process of scientific thinking. This is a logical thought process that is based on hypothesis-making and data. Knowing how to think logically and scientifically will equip you with skills to make sense of the world. For example, you won’t readily believe anything you see or hear if it doesn’t comply with what you already know. Instead, you will look for evidence and data to explain the claims.
In the same way, if you want to find out about something, you will also be able to conduct your own experiments to arrive at a conclusion about your query. This is a key skill to help you satisfy your curiosity about the world, and could potentially be what leads you to a ground-breaking discovery in future!
Some questions in physics may require you to substantiate your findings. This will require you to present your answer in a way that is convincing and evidence-based. In physics, this may involve bringing in theories and mathematical formulae that you have learnt. Thus, having a good grasp of the foundations of physics is not enough – you need to know how they relate and how to apply them. If you are having trouble with this, a physics tuition class may be able to help you.
Above all, argumentation is the ability to synthesis what you know to form a logical explanation to support your stand. It is a crucial skill to have in debates, or in higher learning institutes where you need to defend your research paper.As you can see, physics is more than knowing the textbook information. It also equips you with valuable thinking skills that are vastly transferable to other areas of life or your future career. So, it pays to brush up on your physics early, so that you can reap the benefits of developing your critical thinking abilities!