This article by Tim Barnett offers parents a creative, engaging way to start teaching their children to think critically. Tim discusses how he watches a video from PragerU with his oldest daughter every night before bed, because their captivating, bite-sized content can really be a catalyst for interesting conversations. As Tim notes, this strategy may not work for every kid, but it’s one potential way to start engaging the minds of your kids from a young age.
Tim is pursuing a question that all parents and teachers should be trying to answer: how can we get our kids to start thinking? In a world full of distractions, it is often difficult to slow down and take time to work through tough ideas with kids. Finding engaging resources like the ones made by PragerU can be a helpful entry point into conversations that may be difficult to reach through normal, daily conversation.
Another small, but important, note that Tim makes is that he doesn’t necessarily agree with all of the content in all of PragerU’s videos. While their videos contain a lot of great educational content, finding complete ideological agreement is highly unlikely between any two people. It is important to teach kids to understand ideas they may not agree with so they can better understand the world in which they live. Walking through short videos gives teachers the opportunity to show fairness and decisiveness when evaluating truth claims.
Because of the internet, kids are going to start exploring information on their own as soon as they are interested. Parents and teachers can train them to think critically during or before they start exploring on their own, thus minimizing the chances that they are negatively influenced by the ideas they were going to be evaluating some day anyways.
“… it’s the conversation that I’m after. The videos serve as a springboard to get to conversations. It’s in our discussions that I get to hear my daughter articulate her thoughts and defend her opinions.”