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Critical Thinking and Inquiry Critical Skills

Avatittinnik Kamatsiarniq: ​To show environmental stewardship

Aajiiqatigiinniq: To cooperate, develop shared understanding to arrive at decisions through consensus

Critical thinking and Inquiry involve addressing complex issues and problems by acquiring, processing, analysing and interpreting information to make informed judgments, decisions and actions. This involves using reasoning and criteria to conceptualize, evaluate and synthesize ideas. They challenge assumptions behind thoughts, beliefs or actions. Students value honesty, fairness and open-mindedness. The capacity to engage in cognitive processes to understand and resolve problems includes the willingness to achieve one’s potential as a constructive and reflective citizen.


  • Questioning and analyzing evidence, assertions or assumptions
  • Applying reasoned approaches or relevant criteria to conceptualize, analyze or make judgements
  • Reflecting upon and evaluating reasoning behind thoughts, beliefs or actions
  • Synthesizing thoughts and information to discover or extend understandings
  • Demonstrating intellectual integrity, fairness and open-mindedness

Indicators of Success

How do we know that students are learning this skill?

Choose the appropriate indicators to add to your Rubric. Students will…

  • Acquire, process, interpret, and analyse information to make informed decisions
  • Engage in an inquiry process to solve problems
  • Make connections and transfer learning from one situation to another
  • Inquire into the world around them
  • Asks questions
  • Analyze information and events objectively and developing verification procedures
  • Discern between cause and effect
  • Distinguish fact and opinion, influence and manipulation
  • Synthesize information and ideas
  • Seek to be well-informed and taking the total situation into account
  • Judge the credibility of a source, using credible sources, and accurately
  • Is open minded
  • Identify assumptions

Teacher Prompts

What a Coach Might Say to Encourage the development of this skill
  • How else might we go about this work?
  • What other ways might you demonstrate your understanding?
  • What do you want to learn from this work?
  • How could we do this better?
  • Even if it doesn’t work out, can you try doing this a different way?
  • What is the most unique aspect of this product or process?
  • What would happen if…?
  • Can you reach this outcome in other ways?
  • If there were no limitations of time or resources, how would you go about…?
  • Do you feel that other people or cultures would see/understand this differently?
  • What does this information/data tell you about this subject?
  • What are the positive/negative aspects of this situation/idea?
  • Would that solution work in this situation? Why? Why not?
  • Can you think of a similar situation?
  • What are the underlying assumptions to that argument?
  • What do you think caused this?
  • Into what categories could you break this down?
  • What different sources could you pool together to get an answer?
  • What are all the options we can look at?
  • Have you adjusted your plans or thinking along the way?
  • What is most confusing about this?
  • What parts of our information are based on facts? Opinions? Your opinion?
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