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World's Longest-Running Annual Conference on Critical Thinking
The 35th International Conference on
Critical Thinking and Educational Reform
July 25-30, 2015
Preconference July 25-26
Cultivating World Justice and Freedom of Thought
Through Educational and Social Reform
Together, the Center and Foundation for Critical Thinking have hosted critical thinking academies and conferences for 35 years.
During that time, we have played a key role in defining and advancing the principles and best practices of fairminded critical thought in education and society. Our annual conference provides a unique opportunity for you to improve your understanding of critical thinking, as well as your ability to more substantively foster it in the classroom and in all aspects of your work and life.
The conference begins with three preconference session options . If you have not participated in our conference before, we strongly recommend that you attend our two-day preconference. In all preconference sessions we focus on the foundations of critical thinking that are at the heart of our approach. These foundations are then contextualized throughout the conference.
The rest of the conference will consist of focal sessions, concurrent sessions, and roundtable discussions, offered over four days. When you register for the conference, you will choose your preconference sessions, and your focal sessions for days one, two, and four of the main conference. Preconference and Focal sessions are led primarily by Fellows and Scholars of the Foundation for Critical Thinking. On the third day of the conference you will choose from approximately 30 concurrent sessions. (The full concurrent session program will be available at the conference). Many of the sessions will be posted online in advance.
Throughout our work we emphasize the importance of fostering a substantive conception of critical thinking. Such a conception not only highlights the qualities of the educated person, but also implies the proper design of the educational process. There are essential minimal conditions for cultivating educated minds. These entail modes of instruction that facilitate development of the standards, abilities, and traits of the educated person. All of the traditional content areas of school may be, but typically are not, taught so as to conduce to those standards, abilities, and traits. For instance, when literature is substantively taught, it is taught as literary thinking. The major goal: to give students practice in thinking analytically and critically about literary texts. As a result, students learn not only how to read novels, plays, short stories, and poems with insight, understanding, and appreciation, but also how to formulate and analyze literary problems, reasoning from information in a literary text to plausible interpretations and judgments of appreciation (which they are able to explain and defend on reasonable grounds). When this is done effectively, students come to see the significance of literature, literary thinking, and imagination both in their own lives and in the life of culture and society. Literature becomes an important way to learn about human nature and the human condition as well as a lifelong source of insight and pleasure.
When students are taught using a substantive concept of education as the guide to the design of instruction, they learn to initiate, analyze, and evaluate their own thinking and the thinking of others (within all the content areas they study). Doing so, they come to act more reasonably and effectively in every part of life. They are able to do this because they have acquired intellectual tools and intellectual standards essential to sound reasoning and personal and professional judgment. Self-assessment becomes an integral part of their lives. They are able to master content in diverse disciplines. They become proficient readers, writers, speakers, and listeners. They use their learning to raise the quality of their lives and the lives of others. They become reasonable and fairminded persons capable of empathizing with views with which they disagree and disagreeing with views uncritically accepted by those around them. They are able to use their reasoning skills to contribute to their own emotional life and transform their desires and motivations accordingly. They come to think, feel, and act effectively and with integrity.
All conference sessions are designed to converge on basic critical thinking principles and to enrich a core concept of critical thinking with practical teaching and learning strategies.
Focal Session Presenters Include:
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Saturday and Sunday (July 25-26, 2015)
These preconference sessions are STRONGLY RECOMMENDED FOR NEW ATTENDEES and for those who want to more deeply internalize the foundations of critical thinking.
(choose one of the following in-depth two-day sessions)
- Bringing Critical Thinking into the Heart of Teaching and Learning… Dr. Linda Elder
- Critical Writing - Teaching Students How to Write a Paper Using the Principles of Critical Thinking… Dr. Gerald Nosich
- Living the Examined Life Through Daily Practice in Critical Thinking: 30 Weeks to Better Thinking and Better Living… Dr. Paul Bankes and Dr. Brian Barnes
DAY ONE Monday (July 27)
(choose one of the following sessions, which run all day following the morning key-note address)
- Incorporating Critical Thinking Assessment into the Fabric of Teaching and Learning Every Day… Dr. Linda Elder
- Helping Students Come to Understand Content as a Mode of Thinking … Dr. Gerald Nosich
To What Extent do the Common Core Standards Foster Critical Thinking, World Justice, and Freedom of Thought?... Dr. Paul Bankes
- Transformative Thinkers throughout History Who Have Cultivated and Advanced the Concept of Freedom of Thought ... Dr. Brian Barnes (This is an advanced session for returning registrants)
DAY TWO Tuesday morning (July 28)
(Everyone is invited)
Bertrand Russell Scholars Program
Russell Scholar: Dr. Daniel Ellsberg
Lecture and Conversation
All conference delegates are encouraged to actively participate in this session
See the Bertrand Russell Scholars Program
Day Two Early Afternoon – Roundtable Discussions
(to be held approx 1:30 - 2:30)
DAY TWO Tuesday afternoon (July 28)
(choose one of the following sessions for the afternoon)
- Employing Socratic Questioning as a Means to Cultivating the Intellect and Freeing the Mind… Dr. Gerald Nosich
- The Inherent Fallibility of Human Memory and Some Core Implications for Teaching and Learning… Dr. Elizabeth Loftus and Dr. Linda Elder
- Helping Students Deal with Bad Habits of Mind that Impede Their Learning and Their Development as Thinkers… Dr. Brian Barnes
- For Administrators: Fostering a Substantive Conception of Critical Thinking Throughout Teaching and Learning… Dr. Paul Bankes
DAY THREE Wednesday (July 29)
- Concurrent sessions - TBA
If you would like to send a proposal for a concurrent session, please contact The Foundation for Critical Thinking, at firstname.lastname@example.org . Concurrent sessions are one hour in length. Most sessions are conducted by faculty and administrators who have been working with critical thinking concepts and principles for several years, either in bringing critical thinking into the individual classroom or across the curriculum.
DAY FOUR Thursday morning (July 30)
(choose one of the following sessions for the morning)
- Teaching Students to Pursue Transformative Concepts within Academic Disciplines… . Dr. Gerald Nosich
- The Philosophy of Richard Paul and Some Core Implications for Teaching and Learning … Dr. Paul Bankes and Dr. Brian Barnes
- Creating Lifelong Critical Thinkers: Integrating the Paulian Critical Thinking Approach Into a General Education Program ... Dr. Amanda Hiner, Winthrop University
- Understanding the Inherent Barriers to Freedom of Thought and the Emancipated Mind…. Dr. Linda Elder
35th International Conference on Critical Thinking
|Cost Per Person|
|EVENT OPTIONS: If Paid Between Nov. 11, 2014 and June 25, 2015||1 Person||2-3 people||4-6 People||7 or More|
|35th International Conference (only) - early registration||$510.00||$485.00||$460.00||$375.00|
|35th International Conference with Preconference - early registration||$720.00||$695.00||$670.00||$585.00|
|EVENT OPTIONS: If Paid After June 25, 2015 and Before July 25, 2015||1 Person||2-3 people||4-6 People||7 or More|
|35th International Conference (Only)||$540.00||$515.00||$490.00||$405.00|
|35th International Conference with Preconference||$760.00||$735.00||$710.00||$625.00|
|EVENT OPTIONS: If Paid After Nov. 20, 2014 and Before July 25, 2015||1 Person||2-3 people||4-6 People||7 or More|
|35th International - Preconference Only||$310.00||$310.00||$310.00||$310.00|
FROM PAST CONFERENCES
Video Clips From Our Previous Conferences