Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking 700 FA 2011Critical Thinking Community

Detailed blog posts will capture the highlights and campus applications at


In the Fall 2011, I took a critical thinking (CT) course, which I’ve wanted to do for some time, with an eye towards sharing this topic in a series of workshops in the spring for faculty/staff interested in incorporating more explicit CT activities into their courses/workshops/student interactions.

In our course, we looked at several different frameworks for understanding the process of reasoning in a critical way. We were encouraged to develop a daily practice of reflection and application. In order to do this, we explored each of the elements of reasoning at the personal level and also in a broader sense.

My purpose:

My purpose was to build interest in the topic this over time and develop strategies for integrating CT elements into courses.

Framework for the course
From Paul, R. & Elder, L.  (2006) Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of your Learning and Your Life. Pearson/Prentice Hall.

Nosich, G.M. (2012) Learning to Think Things Through: A Guide to Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum. Pearson.

Whenever you are reasoning, you are trying to accomplish some purpose, within a point of view using concepts or ideas.  You are focused on some question, issue, or problem, using information to come to conclusions, based on assumptions, all of which have implications (pg.57).

We used the elements in the above statements as our framework for understanding the  process of CT.

We learned about the standards of CT to check the quality of our thinking.

We developed strategies to incorporate CT into lessons and courses.

In the Spring 2012 semester, I offered a workshop to faculty on integrating CT into courses. Here are the details at this blog post

4 Responses to Critical Thinking

  1. scs15 says:

    Here are my key questions:

    1) How can I support faculty members in teaching & learning processes?

    2) What skills do my students lack that I can help them acquire this semester?

    3) How can I learn the processes of critical thinking so that I can share them effectively with others?

    4) How can I better achieve work/life balance?

    5) What makes a technology/process worthy of recommendation for use?

  2. scs15 says:

    Here are questions from others I am encountering today (web or conversations):
    a) CIO Predicament: What to do About the iPad – Pepperdine U.
    b) What are the processes that can be used to help people apply logic to their thinking?
    c) How can I effectively reply to a colleague in a given situation?
    d) Why do kids take their own lives?
    e) Is innovation (technology) always a good thing?
    f) How can we make sure that committee work has an actual impact on campus.
    g) What to do when reason and “faith” are in conflict? How to challenge students to use both?

  3. sharon says:

    How can I better connect with and work more effectively with the EOP students? Currently, the only requirement is to attend study hall/group meeting on Thursdays from 12-1:30. Attendance just reached 65% last week.

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