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The 39th Annual International Conference on

Critical Thinking


...The Longest-Running Critical Thinking Conference in the World

June 4 – June 7, 2019

at

KU Leuven, Belgium


Organized by The Foundation for Critical Thinking in Partnership with CRITHINKEDU, KU Leuven, and University Colleges Leuven-Limburg (UCLL)




Register by January 31 to receive the full Thinker’s Guide Library at the conference - a $325 value!




Conference Theme:

Cultivating the Intellect and Developing the Educated Mind through Critical Thinking


About the Conference

Types of Conference Sessions

Focal Sessions

Focal Sessions are led by Fellows and Visiting Scholars of the Foundation for Critical Thinking. These sessions are 'Focal' because they focus on the very foundations, or the central ideas, in a rich conception of critical thinking. Each Focal Session targets one or more essential concepts or sets of principles in critical thinking, often in connection with essential applications of critical thinking. Most Focal Sessions are appropriate for both new and returning attendees, while a few are for those who have worked with us before; these will plainly read, 'For Returning Attendees' in their titles.

In some instances, several Focal Sessions take place at the same time; in other instances, a Focal Session will run at the same time as a Plenary Session (see the 'Plenary Sessions' description below). In either case, you will be asked to select one session to attend in each time slot.

Plenary Sessions

Plenary Sessions are appropriate for  both new and returning attendees. There will be two such sessions this year, both occurring at the same time as more advanced Focal Sessions (when registering for the conference online, attendees will be asked to choose which sessions they want to attend). Each Plenary Session is led by a Senior Fellow of the Foundation for Critical Thinking. As with Focal Sessions, each Plenary Session deals with the foundations of critical thinking, as well as one or more important contextualizations of these foundations. These sessions focus on critical thinking  principles  applicable across teaching and learning, all fields of work, and indeed throughout human life. They are essential to living the examined life; therefore, all participants should find them enriching and enlightening. 

Concurrent Sessions

Concurrent Sessions are conducted by conference participants whose presentation proposals have been approved by Fellows of the Foundation for Critical Thinking ( see our Call for proposals here ). These are presentations in which faculty, educational administrators, professionals, government and military instructors and leaders, and advanced students share their experiences in bringing critical thinking into the teaching and learning process, into daily decision-making, and throughout organizations or departments. Concurrent presenters may share their research in critical thinking, or their developed theory and application of critical thinking. All Concurrent Sessions are expected to be couched in a rich conception of critical thinking.

There are typically 4-6 of these sessions scheduled during each Concurrent Session block. You will receive a copy of the Concurrent Session program at the conference, and will be free to choose whichever sessions you would like to attend. The Concurrent program will also appear on this website as proposals are approved.

Roundtable Discussions

Like Concurrent Sessions, Roundtable Discussions are conducted by conference participants  whose presentation proposals have been approved by Fellows of the Foundation for Critical Thinking.  However, these discussions are held in circles, and are more discourse-based than other session types. Each Discussion leader will begin with a 5-10 minute presentation, which will then open into a dialogue among everyone in the circle, with the Roundtable presenter taking a Socratic questioning role in leading the discussion. All Roundtable Discussions are expected to be couched in a rich conception of critical thinking.  (In some instances, two or more Roundtable Discussions may be combined; in such cases, each Discussion leader will take turns presenting before the dialogue begins, and will take turns leading the dialogue.) 

All Roundtable Discussions take place concurrently. Participants are free to attend whichever ones they wish, and can move between discussions after initial presentations are finished.  You will receive a copy of the Roundtable program at the conference, and this program will also appear on this website as proposals are approved.

June 3: European Summit for Critical Thinking Education

The 39th Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking will be preceded by the European Summit for  Critical Thinking Education on June 3, 2019. The summit is organized by the ERASMUS+ project CRITHINKEDU, in cooperation with the Foundation for Critical Thinking. The meeting will unite higher-education researchers and educators, deans, student support agencies, policymakers, and employers eager to invest in critical thinking education. This one-day summit will challenge participants to take a stance for the future of critical thinking education in Europe, and is free of charge for those who choose to attend.

The European Summit for Critical Thinking Education will be a unique opportunity for people from around the world to gather and discuss critical thinking teaching and learning strategies, as well as other important related matters. Read more here.

Conference Rates

Registration Option
Price Per Attendee

Early Registration

Register by February 3, 2019

  • 1 person - $790
  • 2 - 3 people - $760
  • 4 - 6 people - $730
  • 7 or more - $675

Standard Registration

Available February 3 - May 14th

  • 1 person - $910
  • 2 - 3 people - $870
  • 4 - 6 people - $830
  • 7 or more - $790

Registration fees cover tuition, learning materials, and beverages like coffee and tea. Attendees will need to arrange for their own lodging and meals.

Limited scholarships are available - click here to learn more.

KU Leuven

  

Oude Markt 13 - bus 5005
3000 Leuven

Belgium

tel. + 32 16 324010

Tracing its roots to 1425 A.D., KU Leuven is today one of the world's most esteemed universities. (Read more about the university and city of Leuven here .)


Information on transportation and lodging can be viewed on this page !

Focal and Plenary Session Presenters

Dr. Linda Elder

Dr. Linda Elder is an educational psychologist and international authority on critical thinking. President and Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Critical Thinking, she has taught psychology and critical thinking at the college level, and has given presentations to more than 50,000 educators and leaders. She has coauthored four books, including 30 Days to Better Thinking and Better Living through Critical Thinking and Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Professional and Personal Life, as well as 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 work.

Dr. Gerald Nosich

Dr. Gerald Nosich is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Critical Thinking and a prominent authority on critical thinking. He has given more than 150 national and international workshops on critical thinking, 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. Dr. Nosich is Professor Emeritus at SUNY Buffalo State and the University of New Orleans, and is the author of two books including Learning to Think Things Through: A Guide to Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum .

Ms. Carmen Polka

Ms. Carmen Polka has worked diligently to infuse critical thinking into her classroom instruction, curriculum, and assessment for more than eighteen years. Focused on transforming education through the implementation of quality instructional practices, Ms. Polka instigated and co-authored 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 Paulian theory.

Ms. Polka is currently a principal at an elementary school, as well as a Doctoral candidate in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program at the University of Northern Colorado. She is also a licensed K-12 Special Education teacher.

Dr. Paul Bankes

For more than seventeen years, Dr. Bankes has played an important leadership role in fostering the Paulian conception of critical thinking in multiple school districts. As a principal, he led the implementation of this critical thinking approach to bring about state-recognized levels of achievement in three different Title I schools – a high school, a middle school, and an elementary school. He helped author the reasoning portion of the Colorado Academic Standards that are based on the Paul-Elder framework. In addition to his administrative experience, Dr. Bankes was an elementary school teacher, continues teaching critical thinking courses at the college level, and is currently serving as a Director on his School Board of Education.

Ms. Rachael Collins

Ms. Rachael Collins has served over five years as Executive Assistant to the President at the Foundation for Critical Thinking. A junior scholar at the Foundation, she has studied the Paul-Elder Approach directly with Drs. Linda Elder and Gerald Nosich, and also had the opportunity to learn from Dr. Richard Paul near the end of his life. She has presented multiple Concurrent Sessions at the Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking, and serves as a critical thinking mentor and teaching assistant under the supervision of Dr. Elder. Ms. Collins is currently earning a degree in psychology.


Overview of Sessions

June 4:

8:30 a.m.

Opening Ceremony and Keynote Address for all attendees…

  • Developing Intellectual Character in Teaching and Learning Dr. Linda Elder and Dr. Gerald Nosich


10:30 a.m.

Choose one of the following sessions to attend…

  • Plenary Session: Understanding Critical Thinking Criteria as Essential to Educating the Mind in Any Field of Study and at Every Level… Dr. Gerald Nosich
  • Focal Session for Returning Attendees: Understanding the Importance of Dialogical and Dialectical Reasoning in Human Life, and How They Are Essential to Advancing Intellectual Character…   Ms. Carmen Polka

1:30 p.m.

Choose from the following Focal Sessions…

  • Teaching Students How to Study and Learn: K-12 (Early Childhood through Secondary Education)… Ms. Carmen Polka
  • Placing Critical Thinking at the Core of Higher Education… Dr. Gerald Nosich
  • Using Tools of Critical Thinking to Improve Analysis in Business and Government… Dr. Paul Bankes
  • Advanced Session: Pursuing Your Questions at the Next Level… Dr. Linda Elder

June 5:

9:00 a.m.

Choose from the following Focal Sessions…

  • Illuminating for Students the Fundamental and Powerful Concepts Within Your Subject or Profession… Dr. Gerald Nosich 
  • Understanding Robust Critical Thinking as Essential to Skilled Decision-Making and Problem-Solving in Business and Government
    Dr. Paul Bankes
  • Helping Your Students Learn to Reason Through Social, Political, and Environmental Issues Using the Tools of Critical Thinking… Ms. Carmen Polka and Ms. Rachael Collins


1:30 p.m.

Choose from the following Focal Sessions…

  • Teaching Students to Enjoy Writing Significant Papers in Your Courses… Dr. Gerald Nosich
  • Close Reading as Essential to Your Students' Future… Ms. Carmen Polka
  • Bringing Critical Thinking Across the Institution Through Long-Term Commitment and the Use of Best Professional Development Practices… Dr. Paul Bankes
  • Critical Thinking and Classical Education: How the Two Are Intertwined and How Both are Essential to the Educated Person… Dr. Linda Elder

June 6:

8:30 a.m.

For all attendees…

  • Concurrent Sessions I: Choose at the conference.

9:40 a.m.

For all attendees…

  • Concurrent Sessions II: Choose at the conference.


10:40 a.m.

Choose one of the following sessions to attend…

  • Plenary Session: Fostering Emotional Intelligence in Teaching and Learning and Throughout Human Societies… Dr. Linda Elder
  • Focal Session for Returning Attendees: Sharing Your Insights from Years in Working with the Paul-Elder Framework… Dr. Gerald Nosich

1:20 p.m.

For all attendees…

  • Roundtable Discussions: Choose at the conference.

2:40 p.m.

For all attendees…

  • Concurrent Sessions III: Choose at the conference.

3:40 p.m.

For all attendees…

  • Concurrent Sessions IV: Choose at the conference.

June 7:

9:00 a.m.

Choose from the following Focal Sessions…

  • Helping Students Come to Terms with Their Bad Habits that Impede Learning… Ms. Carmen Polka
  • Critical Thinking as Essential to Reasoning Through Ethical Issues… Dr. Linda Elder
  • Socratic Questioning Through the Tools of Critical Thinking… Dr. Gerald Nosich
  • Cultivating Intellectual Character in Business and Government for a More Rational World… Dr. Paul Bankes


1:30 p.m.

Closing session for all attendees…

  • Moving Forward with a More Powerful Design for Fostering Critical Thinking on a Typical Day… All Fellows and Scholars