7th IB-Week – Thinkers – 10/09


“We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyse and take responsible action on complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.”

«Je pense, donc je suis.» – «I think, therefore I am.»  –  Descartes

Because of the fact that I think, I am aware of myself. This is how Descartes saw it. For him this is the proof that we really exist, that is, that the world is real and that “we are not dreaming”. For many philosophers, thinking and reflecting is what distinguishes us from animals. Only man would be able to think.

However, there are many ways of thinking and we can imagine a lot related to the act of thinking: for a long time, school and education focused unilaterally on a specific thinking; it was a thinking that memorized and remembered sequences to solve clearly described problems – algorithmic and mechanical thinking – thought as a tool given by an authority.

Today, schools want to encourage critical thinking, and it is not about criticizing, but about productive, holistic and questioning thinking. That is, systemic thinking to solve real problems for the benefit of all – thinking as a central autonomous activity of a person, which independently defines the problems and their solutions.

Many “men of action” equalize thinking with an unproductive “schism”. At the Swiss-Brazilian School of Curitiba, we understand thinking as a prerequisite for action and we understand that learning is only possible when thinking and acting alternate and stimulate one another. Every initiative should be thought of; every thought must be an initiative.

The future demands of your children, as modern leaders, that they be strategic thinkers, that they be able to research and critically examine the information they need before making important decisions.

Important decisions are often difficult because decision makers have to consider many factors and outcomes. Important decisions are complex because decision makers have to predict many scenarios. They are difficult because they need to be done within a time frame and often also affect people’s personal lives. Critical thinking serves to make holistic, rational, and responsible decisions and to represent them later.

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