The Foundation for Critical Thinking to Host
Dillon Beach, CA (11-08-2007) -- The Foundation for Critical Thinking will host its first National Hispanic Academy at the Berkeley Doubletree Hotel and Marina near the UC Berkeley Campus on February 29 through March 2, 2008.
Focusing on "Formulando Preguntas Esenciales" (Asking Essential Questions), the entire Academy will be conducted in the Spanish language. Sr. Rush Cosgrove, a fellow at the Foundation for Critical Thinking, will administer the course. Availability is limited. Teachers, curriculum designers, administrators, and students who plan to attend are urged to register early. The 'Thinker’s Guide to the Art of Asking Essential Questions,” authored by Drs Linda Elder and Richard Paul, will be the focus of the academy.
"It is not possible to be a good thinker and a poor questioner," said Cosgrove. "Questions define tasks, express problems, and delineate issues. They drive thinking forward. Answers, on the other hand, often signal a full stop in 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 raised that we first need to address is, 'How can we teach so that students generate questions?' In this Academy we shall focus on practical strategies for generating questioning minds at the same time, of course, that students learn the relevant content that is at the heart of any curriculum," he said.
Sr. Cosgrove says the significance of critical thinking to the Hispanic community has not yet been duly recognized. The most fundamental goal we should have for our children is preparing them to be effective problem solvers and decision makers. To achieve this end, students must learn how to minimize poor thinking and maximize good thinking in addressing problems and potential decisions. The Academy's focus on "Formulado Preguntas Esenciales" is intended to set the stage for teachers, curriculum designers, administrators, as well as students who recognize the need to learn and teach critical thinking.
Critical thinking is the art of thinking better as a result of analyzing and assessing thinking effectively. A seminal pedagogical concept and interconnected collection of best practices that accompany all forms of inquiry, discourse, and understanding in virtually every domain and discipline, it is the foundational competency behind all teaching and learning. It is the key to learning how to learn and to taking ownership of knowledge and skills in all domains and disciplines.
The Center for Critical Thinking, the National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking, and the Foundation for Critical Thinking have together hosted critical thinking academies, workshops, and conferences for more than a quarter century. During that time, these sister entities have played a key role in defining, structuring, assessing, improving and advancing the principles and best practices of fair minded critical thought in education and in society. Throughout their work, they have emphasized and argued for the importance of teaching critical thinking in a strong, rather than in a weak, sense. They are committed to a clear and "substantive" concept of critical thinking (rather than to one that is ill-defined or vague); to a concept that interfaces well with the disciplines, that integrates critical with creative thinking, that emphasizes the affective as well as the cognitive dimension of critical thinking, that highlights intellectual standards and traits. They advocate a concept of critical thinking that organizes instruction in every subject area at every educational level, around it, on it, and through it. For more about The Foundation for Critical Thinking, log onto: http://www.criticalthinking.org
For more information or to register for the Academy on Asking Essential Questions, log onto: http://www.criticalthinking.org/conference/2008-Spanish-Academia.cfm
Rush Cosgrove has been awarded a Research Fellowship at the Foundation and Center for Critical Thinking. Mr. Cosgrove has a unique background. He is one of very few students who have been systematically taught critical thinking from the age of 10. It was at this age that he was taken from the main stream of instruction and put into an independent study program designed and supervised by Drs. Paul and Elder. Approximately half of his classes were taken under this model. The remainder of his high school credits came from enrolling in college classes. Mr. Cosgrove is highly effective in conducting workshops in critical thinking for both faculty and students. He has taught numerous workshops on critical thinking in Spanish for both students and faculty at Mexican schools, colleges, and universities, including the Universidad de Las Americas, Puebla, Instituto Technologico Agropecuario, Torreon, Universidad Autonoma de Baja California, Ensenada. He serves as a major presenter at the International Conference on Critical Thinking each year, and is an articulate spokesperson for critical thinking both in teaching and learning.