Spring 2011 Workshop on Critical Thinking
Venue: Claremont Hotel
|Event Date/Time: Mar 04, 2011||End Date/Time: Mar 06, 2011|
|Registration Date: Mar 04, 2011|
|Early Registration Date: Feb 01, 2011|
The first day of the spring workshops will focus on the fundamentals of critical thinking. This session will lay the foundation for the other workshop sessions. It will introduce you to some of the most basic understandings in critical thinking â€“ namely, how to analyze thinking, how to assess it, and how to develop and foster intellectual virtues or dispositions.
One conceptual set we will focus on is the elements of reasoning, or parts of thinking. The elements or parts of reasoning are those essential dimensions of reasoning that are present whenever and wherever reasoning occurs â€”independent of whether we are reasoning well or poorly. Working together, these elements shape reasoning and provide a general logic to the use of thought. They are presupposed in every subject, discipline, and domain of human thought.
A second conceptual set we will focus on is universal intellectual standards. One of the fundamen als of critical thinking is the ability to assess reasoning. To be skilled at assessment requires that we consistently take apart thinking and examine the parts with respect to standards of quality. We do this using criteria based on clarity, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, logicalness, and significance. Critical thinkers recognize that, whenever they are reasoning, they reason to some purpose (element of reasoning). Implicit goals are built into their thought processes. But their reasoning is improved when they are clear (intellectual standard) about that purpose or goal. Similarly, to reason well, they need to know that, consciously or unconsciously, they are using relevant (intellectual standard) information (element of reasoning) in their in thinking. Furthermore, their reasoning improves if and when they make sure that the information they are using is accurate (intellectual standard).
A third conceptual set in critical thinking is intellectual virtues or traits. Critical thinking does not entail merely intellectual skills. It is a way of orienting oneself in the world. It is a way of approaching problems that differs significantly from that which is typical in human life. People may have critical thinking skills and abilities, and yet still be unable to enter viewpoints with which they disagree. They may have critical thinking abilities, and yet still be unable to analyze the beliefs that guide their behavior. They may have critical thinking abilities, and yet be unable to distinguish between what they know and what they donâ€™t know, to persevere through difficult problems and issues, to think fairmindedly, to stand alone against the crowd. Thus, in developing as a thinker, and fostering critical thinking abilities in others, it is important to develop intellectual virtues â€“ the virtues of fairmindedness, intellectual humility, intellectual perseverance, intellectual courage, intellectual empathy, intellectual autonomy, intellectual integrity, and confidence in reason.
Days Two and Three, Saturday and Sunday: choose one of the following
Teaching Students to Ask Essential Questions Within Any Subject or Disciplineâ€¦Dr. Richard Paul
It is not possible to be a good thinker and a poor questioner. Questions define tasks, express problems, and delineate issues. They drive thinking forward. Answers, on the other hand, often bring an end to thought. Only when an answer generates further questions does thought continue as inquiry. A mind with no questions is a mind that is not intellectually alive. No questions (asked) equals no understanding (achieved). Superficial questions equal superficial understanding, unclear questions equal unclear understanding. If your mind is not actively generating questions, you are not engaged in substantive learning. So the question is raised, â€œHow can we teach so that students generate questions that lead to deep learning?â€ In this workshop we shall focus on practical strategies for generating questioning minds---at the same time, of course, that students learn the content that is at the heart of the curriculum.
Redesigning Instruction: Placing Critical Thinking at the Heart of Teaching and Learningâ€¦Dr. Enoch Hale
To study well and learn any subject is to learn how to think with discipline within that subject. It is to learn to think within its logic, to:
raise vital questions and problems within it, formulating them clearly and precisely.
gather and assess information, using ideas to interpret that information insightfully.
come to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against relevant criteria and standards.
adopt the point of view of the discipline, recognizing and assessing, as need be, its assumptions, implications, and practical consequences.
communicate effectively with others using the language of the discipline and that of educated public discourse.
relate what one is learning in the subject to other subjects and to what is significant in human life.
To become a skilled learner is to become a self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinker who has given assent to rigorous standards of thought and mindful command of their use. Skilled learning of a discipline requires that one respect the power of it, as well as its, and oneâ€™s own, historical and human limitations. This workshop will offer strategies for helping students begin to take learning seriously.
It focuses on the idea that substantive teaching and learning can occur only when students take ownership of the most basic principles and concepts of the subject.
Cultivating Emotional Intelligence Through Critical Thinkingâ€¦Dr. Linda Elder
To develop emotional intelligence is to achieve command of the workings of our minds. It is our minds that generate our thoughts, feelings, and desires. It is our studentsâ€™ minds that control not only how they study and learn but how they make decisions and conduct their lives. Part of understanding the role of critical thinking is enabling us to understand the relationship between thoughts and emotions. To be in command of oneâ€™s emotional life is to have command of the faculties of mind that determine it: thoughts, emotions, and desires working together. Student emotions play an important part in their lives as students. When they bring learned indifference, irrational fears, acquired hostility, and inflexible ideas into the classroom, their learning is limited to the superficial. This session provides a structure for helping students improve the quality of their work and lives. It focuses on the relationship between cognition and affect, as well as the barriers to critical thinking development, namely egocentric and sociocentric thought.