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Messy learning the best tool for critical thinking

messy learning

Our childhood was full of messy learning. It helped us understand a lot.

There is more to know than just the word, so let us first understand what messy learning is.  

So, what is Messy Learning

You must have seen how curious and creative a child’s mind is. Children are ready to get involved in anything if that thing is of their interest. Sometimes they learn by directly getting to the problem and solving it, while other times, an alternative solution is needed to make their mind grasp it. Therefore, messy learning is an indirect method of learning. 

It is like getting to the process of solving and eventually learning more than just that particular solution.

In this blog, we will discuss the truth behind messy learning and how it influences us to develop a critical approach to things.

The word ‘Messy’

The word itself takes you away from the linear to the non-linear. And as the word suggests, learning is indeed messy.

For example, when you are left alone to explore and perceive things on your own, you get a chance to mingle with things without knowing what will come out of them. Don’t you think it sounds like a mess? 

The opportunity to perceive and question

When you are told certain things and made to remember that, the concept becomes quite straightforward. Sometimes you may not even understand what the person is telling, and you just shut your mouth and continue to listen without saying something.  

On the other side, what if you start questioning things and get involved with that idea? 

A non-linear understanding or messy learning allows you to question things you don’t understand just by someone’s theory.


When you get involved in questioning things, you trigger yourself into participation. Participation helps you become a good listener and observer that eventually allows you to think critically.


When you look at things from different angles, you open up to new ideas and innovations. You start seeing things in ways no other person can. Your perception becomes broader, and you develop as a critical and creative thinker. 

Perceiving things in ways no other person can is an incredible way of finding solutions and is not easy to develop. 

messy learning

‘Messy learning’ not only gives you definitions but also opens your mind to a much deeper level of understanding. Messy Play for instance creates an amazing impact on young minds.


When you make an effort yourself, you are much more aware of your approach. You try to understand things better, and in that state, your confusion gradually diffuses.

You see for yourself what that thing expresses and create a clear picture of it in your head. Thus messy learning dissolves your confusion and allows you to get a clear picture of things.

More examples suggest it is a fantastic way of developing a critical approach. Being messy is not a mess. 

When you mingle and play unguided, you find alternate ways of understanding things and thus develop better critical thinking.

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