Critical Thinking: Designing Instructional Strategies to Promote Critical Thought

Venue: online

Location: online,

Event Date/Time: Sep 29, 2010 End Date/Time: Sep 29, 2010
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Critical Thinking: Designing Instructional Strategies to Promote Critical Thought September 29, October 5, & October 12 1:00-2:30pm EDT (all sessions) 3-part workshop (online) etention_p/85 7.htm NOTE: Payment is not required prior to event date. Recording is included and is accessible for one full year. OVERVIEW Critical thinking is a concept that is widely used and has high visibility in the accreditation and mission statements of educational institutions across the world. However, many educators and institutions have difficulty clarifying the concept and knowing how to infuse it within curriculum and instruction. This three part workshop focuses on explicating those concepts and principles that inform a foundational, cross-disciplinary conception of critical thinking as well as how these fundamentals translate into concrete teaching and learning strategies that, when done well, help our students improve the quality of their thinking. SESSION TITLES/DESCRIPTIONS Part 1: Introduction to Foundational Critical Thinking Concepts and Principles In this first segment, participants will be introduced to a robust, cross-disciplinary conception of critical thinking. We will discuss what critical thinking is and explore how it can be substantively infused into our content areas and instructional contexts. It will be argued that critical thinking is not something that is merely added to our existing curriculum and workload, but should be the way we teach and learn. When critical thinking is treated as the organizing idea of teaching and learning substantive understanding will naturally result. Part 2: Question Generating Concepts The critical mind is the questioning mind. The extent to which students ask genuine questions and seek to answer them reflects the extent to which students take content seriously and think it through. The problem is that our students rarely know how to systematically ask questions that probe content by searching out assumptions, concepts, purposes, information, inferences and solutions, points of view, or implications. They rarely seek out intellectual standards to evaluate the quality of their thought and the thoughts of others: questions that target clarity, depth, relevance, validity, significance, and accuracy. We want to create a classroom culture where students actively, reflectively, and fair-mindedly question the content and each other. Such a culture cultivates important intellectual skills and abilities as well as virtuous dispositions like intellectual flexibility, empathy, humility, integrity, open-mindedness, and perseverance to name a few. This session will focus on the relationship between our ability to question and our ability to think critically. Participants will explore various ways to help students develop questions that analyze and evaluate content and their thinking. Part 3: Focus on Instructional Strategies that Promote Critical Thought This session will build on the foundational critical thinking concepts and principles addressed in the first session. In doing so, participants will explore the intimate relationship between what it means to think critically and how we can design instruction to promote critical thought. Based on best practices in teaching and learning, participants will engage and discuss specific instructional strategies designed to foster critical thought and the cultivation of higher order thinking skills. The instructional strategies act as examples of what instructors can do on a typical day of class, so at the end of the session participants should have a short list of practical strategies they can immediately incorporate into their instruction. OBJECTIVES Participants will explicate the concept of critical thinking. Participants will contextualize foundational critical thinking concepts as intellectual tools to help students learn to as clear, focused, deep, and reflective questions. Participants will work with and compile a list of instructional strategies designed to be transferred to their instructional contexts. WHO SHOULD ATTEND? This workshop is appropriate for faculty and administrators interested in practical strategies for improving student thinking. This is also relevant to those administrators who have articulated critical thinking as part of their accreditation plans and/or college mission statements. WHO IS THE SPEAKER? Dr. Enoch Hale is a Fellow at the Foundation and Center for Critical Thinking. With over a decade of teaching experience, Dr. Hale brings a wealth of experience to the workshop setting. Recognizing the importance of placing critical thinking at the heart of instruction early on in his teaching career, Dr. Hale took an incremental but systematic approach to bringing critical thinking theory and practice into his courses. He holds a B.A. degree in intellectual and social history, a Masters degree in liberal arts and sciences, a secondary single subject credential in social science, and a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis on critical thinking and educational reform. His research interests involve identifying practical methods for teaching students to identify and work through complex interdisciplinary issues and problems as well as studying how teachers learn. Dr. Hale regularly conducts workshops throughout the country, teaches a graduate course on critical thinking, and has been a presenter at the annual International Conference on Critical Thinking for the last five years. Enquiries: