Critical Thinking, Complex Conversation

Critical Thinking, Complex Conversation

The real focus in the preschool years should be not just on vocabulary and reading, but on talking and listening.



In this month’s Especially for Parents article, we discussed the core values of our curriculum and goals at Especially for Children. We touched on the importance of the teacher/child relationship in the learning environment. As adults, we understand that one of the ways relationships develop is through meaningful conversation. This is, of course, true for children as well. And one tool to promote meaningful conversation is through a topic we have touched on in the past: open-ended questions. Open-ended questions not only help deepen our relationships as they lead to more complex conversations, but they promote critical thinking as well.

As with many aspects of parenting, it is important to model how open-ended questions and more complex answers and conversations work. Because children have a harder time answering open-ended questions, remember to be patient as they search for words and concepts to express their thoughts. The following video shows how books can provide examples of open-ended questions with longer, more complex answers, so that children can understand how these exchanges sound.

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