21st Century Skills – Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is becoming increasingly important for today’s rapidly changing workplace and will be one of the most in-demand skills for employers in the next few years.

So what is critical thinking?

The National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking defines critical thinking as:

“The intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action”.

This definition is pretty wordy but in general, critical thinking is not that complex.

Every day, we’re bombarded with so many questions and decisions; it’s impossible to get it right every time. But there are ways we can improve our chances – particularly by using critical thinking.

Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally about what to do or what to believe. It is about actively and skillfully processing information – facts and observations – so that you can understand things better and make better decisions.

It involves a number of key skills including problem-solving, analysis, creative thinking, interpretation, evaluation and reasoning. Combined, these skills will allow you to work, think, and act smarter and more effectively.

There are many ways to improve your critical thinking skills, but here’s a five-step process to help you with your decision-making, watch the TED-Ed video here: https://youtu.be/dItUGF8GdTw



‘Critical Thinking’ is included in our programme of monthly ‘Accelerated Development Workshops’ for apprentices, which focus on developing the key 21st century skills and attributes future employers are looking for.