Critical thinking in the real world

While sitting in my 4th-grade math class, I never understood why there was a distinction between “real world” math problems and the rest.

Looking back now, I finally get it.

Real-world problems aren’t made up. They’re problems that people encounter in their day to day lives. I really wish my math teachers focused more on the real-world applications and less on the theory.

Though, I don’t blame them. Their incentives were misaligned. Until recently, standardized testing didn’t actually focus much on real-world problems.

As an adult, I encounter problems that require critical thinking daily.

Let’s take the example of building a landing page for a business.

Although, little math is required. One has to think about a concise way to describe a product or service, build a visual explanation, and place calls to action at the right places so site visitors convert.

All of these micro-decisions require critical thinking. The beautiful thing is, in the real-world one can create feedback loops to gauge the value of creation.

In our example of the website, we can track where users click, how much time they spend, types of browsers they’re visiting from and many more data points to inform future decisions.

When was the last time you had to think critically?

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