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Chapter 3

Fostering Critical Thinking

In blue-collar and white-collar environments alike, employers seek workers who intuitively apply continuous improvement approaches to their work.

Comfort with complexity and ambiguity is increasingly important in today’s fast-paced and dynamic workplaces. More employers are conducting situational interviews to see firsthand how people deal with ambiguity—a skill that isn’t easy to learn.

The profile of an ideal worker is changing. Rather than seeking employees who will do what the job demands, companies are looking for self-starters who can work independently to identify issues and solve problems.

You need someone who’s motivated, energized, engaged, and looking for a challenge.

Suma Nallapati, Chief Information Officer, State of Colorado

Employers want to hire students who have strong communications and critical thinking skills. They want talent that combines traditional business acumen with progressive critical thinking. However, some Colorado leaders say that our high school programs don’t have enough capstone projects to give students the critical thinking and analysis skills they need as a foundation for higher education and the workplace.

With a rise in the importance placed on standardized testing, today’s primary educational system has become mired in bureaucracy—making it hard for teachers to focus on problem solving, innovation and creativity.

We need a Renaissance in the K-6 environment that will prepare students in these skills in order for them to become the workforce of the future.

Deon MacMillan, Chief Human Resources Officer, Ardent Mills