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Conference Presenters

Conference Focal Session Presenters: 

Dr. Linda Elder

Dr. Linda Elder is an educational psychologist and a prominent authority on critical thinking. She is President and Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Critical Thinking. Dr. Elder has taught psychology and critical thinking at the college level, and has given presentations to more than 50,000 educators. She has coauthored four books and 24 Thinker's Guides on critical thinking. Concerned with understanding and illuminating the relationship between thinking and affect, and the barriers to critical thinking, Dr. Elder has placed these issues at the center of her thinking and her work.

Dr. Gerald Nosich

Dr. Gerald Nosich is an authority on critical thinking and Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Critical Thinking; he has given more than 150 national and international workshops on the subject. He has worked with the U.S. Department of Education on a project for the National Assessment of Higher Order Thinking skills, has served as the Assistant Director of the Center for Critical Thinking, and has been featured as a Noted Scholar at the University of British Columbia. He is Professor Emeritus at SUNY Buffalo State and the University of New Orleans. and the author of two books, including Learning to Think Things Through: A Guide to Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum.

Dr. Brian Barnes

Dr. Brian Barnes has taught Critical Thinking courses for nine years at the university level. He has earned grants from Hanover College, the James Randi Education Foundation, and the University of Louisville focused on developing critical thinking in everyday life. He holds a Ph.D. at the University of Louisville, which fosters the Paulian Approach to critical thinking across the curriculum. Dr. Barnes is a Visiting Scholar at the Foundation for Critical Thinking.

Ms. Carmen Polka

Carmen Polka has worked diligently to infuse critical thinking into her classroom instruction, curriculum, and assessment for more than fifteen years. Focused on transforming education through implementation of quality instructional practices, Ms. Polka instigated and co-authored the writing of the Colorado Academic State Standards targeting research and reasoning based on the Paul-Elder framework. As a leader and critical thinking expert in her district, she led professional development and coached K-12 teachers to effectively utilize the Paulian theory. Ms. Polka is a Doctoral candidate in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program at the University of Northern Colorado. In addition, she is a licensed principal, elementary teacher, and K-12 Special Education teacher.