Using Critical Thinking In Math

2 min readDec 23, 2020


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What is critical and creative thinking. and why is it so important in mathematics and numeracy education? Numeracy is often defined as the ability to apply mathematics in the context of day to day life. However. the term ‘critical numeracy’ implies much more.

Critical Thinking in Math Critical thinking is a key factor in separating those students who can ‘do’ math from those who truly understand what they’re doing. When students do math. they can. . .

He even uses integrative thinking in math instruction. asking students to use the ladder of inference to determine information in a word problem. or asking them to do Pro/Pro charts for different multiplication strategies and then letting them come up with their own third way.

It’s important that we are building critical thinking skills in math. Too often these are overlooked or assumed that students do it because they have to problem solve sometimes. While that does help build the all-important critical thinking skills. we need to make sure we are also finding ways to purposely bring it into instruction.

Obviously. this is not helpful — if the math processes are the actions of doing math. it makes sense then that these actions will. at times. encompass critical and creative thinking. Further compounding the problem. critical and creative thinking are. at best. ill-defined.

Critical Thinking A — Level 2. This one page worksheet is on math terminology. Students use two sets of 0–9 numbers to fill in the empty boxes. They need to use their basic math vocabulary and thinking process to answer the questions correctly. Helpful idea: Have students cut out numbers and place in the empty boxes like pieces to a puzzle.

Educational psychologists frame critical thinking (CT) as a set of generic thinking and reasoning skills. including a disposition for using them. as well as a commitment to using the outcomes of CT as a basis for decision-making and problem solving. In such descriptions. CT is established as a general standard for making judgments and decisions. Some descriptions of CT activities and skills . . .

Lack of creative thinking in math classroom results in memorizing techniques. without imagining how. where or why to use them in real life. Setting up an environment in which mistakes are allowed. and making sure that your students know there is more than one solution to a problem will go in favor of creativity.

“Critical thinking… involves students learning to recognise or develop an argument. ” (ACARA). In mathematics students use logical argument when they are encouraged to test conjectures and justify. They use examples to verify or refute statements and use logical argument to convince others.

Mathematics education instructors at both the secondary and post-secondary levels can enhance students’ critical thinking skills by (i) using instructional strategies that actively engage students in the learning process rather than relying on lecture and note memorization. (ii) focusing instruction on the process of learning




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