This content is part of official issued curriculum providing the most up-to-date information (i.e., front matter). This content is applicable to all curriculum documents, Grades 1 to 12. Educators must consider this information to guide the implementation of curriculum and in creating the environment in which it is taught. 

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Definition

Critical thinking and problem solving involve locating, processing, analysing, and interpreting relevant and reliable information to address complex issues and problems, make informed judgements and decisions, and take effective action. With critical thinking skills comes an awareness that solving problems can have a positive impact in the world, and this contributes to achieving one’s potential as a constructive and reflective citizen. Learning is deepened when it occurs in the context of authentic and meaningful real-world experiences.

Student Descriptors

  • Students engage in inquiry processes that include locating, processing, interpreting, synthesizing, and critically analysing information in order to solve problems and make informed decisions. These processes involve critical, digital, and data literacy.
  • Students solve meaningful and complex real-life problems by taking concrete steps – identifying and analysing the problem, creating a plan, prioritizing actions to be taken, and acting on the plan – as they address issues and design and manage projects.
  • Students detect patterns, make connections, and transfer or apply what they have learned in a given situation to other situations, including real-world situations.
  • Students construct knowledge and apply what they learn to all areas of their lives – at school, home, and work; among friends; and in the community – with a focus on making connections and understanding relationships.
  • Students analyse social, economic, and ecological systems to understand how they function and how they interrelate.