Thinking is one of the important aspects of teaching-learning process. A child’s ability to learn and solve the problems depends upon his ability to think correctly. It helps him in adjustment and is necessary to successful living. The men, who can think distinctly, consecutively and carefully can only contribute something worthwhile to the society. But one is not a born thinker. One has to learn to think just as one has to learn to perceive. Learning to think is not an easy road. It requires the knowledge of the techniques and practice of proper thinking. The child lies to be trained in keeping himself away the incorrect and useless thinking besides ‘having knowledge and practices of the methods of adequate thinking. Though it is difficult to list the measures for developing effective and correct thinking among children yet the following discussion may prove fruitful in this direction.
- a) Adequacy of the knowledge and experiences: – One does not think in vacuum. Thinking no matter simple or complex rests on the previous knowledge and experience of the thinker. Adequacy of the knowledge and experience bring e adequacy in thinking. Lack of knowledge and experience of defective knowledge and faulty experience is the common cause of bad thinking. Therefore care should be taken to equip the children with adequate knowledge and experiences. It may be done in the following ways:-
(i) Knowledge and experiences are acquired through sensation and perception. It is very important therefore that children should received correct sensation and be able to interpret them correctly. Thus training in correct observation and interpretation should be given to children.
(ii) The child should be provided opportunities for getting adequate experience and he should be encouraged for self study, discussion and participation in healthy stimulating activities.
(b) Adequate motivation and definiteness of aim: – thinking is a purposeful activity. Unless there is a definite aim or purpose, thinking cannot precede on the right track it is a problem solving behaviour which ends in the satisfaction of felt needs and motivates. A person does not think because he thinks, but because he has a need. Therefore there is a motivate behind any valid thinking. It helps in mobilizing our energy for thinking and makes us deeply absorbed in the task of thinking. It creates genuine interest and voluntary attention in the in the process of thinking and thus helps a lot in increasing the adequacy and efficiency of our thinking. Therefore, children should be trained to think on the definite lines with a definite end or purpose. The problems, they solve, should have intimate connection with their immediate needs and basic motives. The aimless wandering of their thinking should be checked and their energy should be concentrated on creative and productive activities.
(c) Adequate freedom and flexibility: – Thinking should not be obstructed by imposing unnecessary restrictions and narrowing the field of thought process. On the other hand it should not get unbridled freedom for tempting the child to roam into a world of pure imagination. The children should get adequate freedom to make use of new associations, relationships and possibilities in order to solve problems if the already experienced and learned methods do not prove useful.