I am back in the classroom this year working with full-day kindergartners. Critical thinking remains at the forefront of my work as I embrace working with young minds. In the past three weeks of school we have already started naming our inferences and checking them to see if they are logical. I can't wait to see what we can do after 6 weeks!
In addition, my work with the Colorado Department of Education came to fruition and the Foundation’s work is deeply embedded in the literacy standards under Research and Reasoning. I am pleased that the state recognized the quality of the Foundation’s work and adopted the standards last December. There have been many emails forwarded my way from educators in Colorado seeking clarity on what it means to teach critical thinking. I hope the emails continue.
Again, thank you for the resources.
Carmen Polka, Ponderosa Elementary School
A colleague and I are writing a curriculum for Substance Abuse Treatment groups. The process is daunting, yet finding your materials and using them has made the task less so. It is important for me to let you know that your writing is clear, on target and has been an immeasurable help. Thank you for doing the "good work!"
Thank you so much. It is a critical book, and foundational in the field. We will look forward to our students reading and learning from it.
Dr. Margaret Hejhal,
Oxford Graduate School
Just to let you know, what your organization is doing is pretty remarkable. Your books and pamphlets are wonderfully readable, easy to understand, and very relevant. I use excerpts as models of critical thinking for those who are carrying out investigations or inquiries, as well as our strategic planning programs. I am constantly referring my peers, associates, and other business organizations to your website as a superb resource. And, I am planning to participate in your conference next year (when I hope to have a bit more discretionary time).
Thanks again! Barry L. Richmond
I just received and read the Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking. It is delightful! It was all good, but I particularly appreciated the Egocentric Thinking section. Thank you for making this available.
Robert C. Fuller, Ph.D., P.E.,
Associate Professor, Physics Department
Dear Dr. Richard Paul, I am Dr. Hani Daas, Prof. of Oral Biology and one of your followers in your great school of thinking, I am Jordanian working in Ahram Canadian University-Cairo. Next semester I will teach the dental students a critical thinking course, your book now available...I just want to express respect and gratitude to you as a great thinker shaping the 21st century.
Dear Richard W. Paul and Linda Elder: I am about half way through working through "Critical Thinking" which you both authored (and I have made a personal commitment to continue developing my critical thinking skills into the future!) I am writing this email just to express my deep gratitude for the contents of the above book. Learning how to think clearly and critically would be a much more beneficial outcome from our schooling system than just reading and writing and a bit of rote learning!!! In fact if we humans are going to still be around in a few thousand years there will need to be a lot more of this type of thinking percolating into our schools (and hence over time into all areas of society!) Keep up the good work guys!!
Thank you, David Collett, Australia
Hi Linda [Elder]: Well, the crap has hit the fan with respect to education!!! Oprah premiered on April 11th (second part April 12th) with Bill and Melinda Gates in their StandUp Campaign(www.standup.org
). It is now a nationwide crisis according to Oprah and others. 20/20 aired their program on education a couple of weeks ago; they made it very clear that the educational system is cranking out "stupid" people. You and Dr. Paul hold the key to this debacle. Strike while the iron is hot. Our entire civilization (United States) depends on what we do now. Let me know if I can help in any way. I really do care about this a lot!!!!
Best regards, Bonnie McClelland
Hi, Thank You for all your support and information that you provide. I have not found another resource that I recommend as highly as your organization.
In Kindness, Margie Stogsdill
Your work is BRILLIANT!! I'm extremely impressed with the eloquence of your thought processes and the perfection of communication of the same. Please instruct me on your requirements to use your works to benefit my community.
Thanks a lot, Pete Lemieux
Dr. Richard Paul, It has been quite interesting reading on your web site, and I applaud your efforts. I have been contemplating the ways that we need to develop our education system for a number of years, to improve the intellect of our youth and development of our society. I came across your web site while looking for the work of others. It appears that the plan of action is to use seminars, literature, and the web site to stimulate the use of Critical Thinking among educators and administrators. Is this a correct assumption? The biggest problem is that people don't know what they don't know.
Thank You, Tony Zintsmaster
Dear Sir and or Madam,
I am attaching a lesson plan I would like to share on our teacher list serve. My name is Dr. Ann Claunch and I am the Director of Curriculum for National History Day. I have used your material for years and was especially pleased to see an historian from Harvard University use and reference your book on Critical Thinking in one of her lessons with graduate students. We have approximately three hundred practicing teachers on the list serve so it would be my hope that this attachment would generate business for your company and enhance the teaching practice of our National History Day teachers. I will await your permission before posting the lesson.
Respectfully, Dr. Ann Claunch
Director of Curriculum, National History Day
Dear Critical Thinking Org Representative: I teach a College Success course at Texas State Technical College in Harlingen Texas... I took my classes to your website and walked them through your definition area of your website. It was a mind opening experience for many of them to "think about their thinking". So thanks for your website. I also make use of readings from Richard Paul and Linda Elder's book, Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Professional and Personal Life. Keep up the good work in helping people improve their thinking. Have a thoughtful day!
Student Success Advisor Office of Student Success, Texas State Technical College
Ms Elder, My name is David Bloom and I recently saw one of your mini-books about questioning. It reminded me of my father Benjamin Bloom and his Taxonomy. Very effective nice work. It is such a shame that these concepts aren't part of the curriculum in American education or culture. It would quite interesting to see what would happen if questioning was part of the culture. I trust we would have a much different country. I hope that these books are selling a lot.
Best, David Bloom
Linda: I was at the San Francisco conference and really learned about CT. I have read your books, and Richards.....As I prepare for September, just wanted to thank you for clear instruction and new ideas for teaching. (I enjoyed your humor too.) I am incorporating Intellectual Standards in my grading and will be working with "Elements of Thought" through the year. I hope to spread the word at my institution.
Thanks. Kate Schiefen
Chair of Applied Technologies, Monroe Community College
At twenty-five I have received my first introduction to what real education is now that I have read the first three quarters of your book, Critical Thinking...Thanks for making a wealth of substantive structure available to apply to my worldview and creative endeavours--and to sort out the difference between them.
Thank you for a high quality website... as is typical of web-based research by an adult learner ...I stumbled unto to it using "Mooter" (an Australian web-crawler search engine) in order to inform a paper I'm writing on educating working adults on-line as part of a graduate class I'm taking at University of West Florida (Pensacola, FL) while sitting in my Tampa, FL apartment...I appreciate having real thoughts, written in cogent English, not the garbage I've found in two articles in "peer reviewed journals" that are nothing but a loosely connected series of quotes and other people's ideas.
Well done! Paulette
Dear Dr. Paul: I just watched your video series on assessment and critical thinking, and I immediately had to get up and go for a very fast three-mile walk while my brain went 100 mph thinking of all the ways I could apply what I learned from the videos. I teach English at North Country Community College in Northern New York, and I have just been given the title of Assessment Coordinator. We began a general education assessment program a few years ago at the behest of the State University of New York (SUNY) Board of Trustees. Watching your videos has helped me to figure out what that approach might consist of. While I watched the videos, I was nodding my head almost the entire time. "Yes, yes," I was thinking. "That's exactly what I thought," except I had never been able to articulate it. If nothing else, I can tell you my classes next semester will be structured quite differently than they are now. I've been trying to do what you detail, getting students to think and then assess their own thinking, but having had no training in that myself, I had no idea how to do it. Now I have a better idea, thanks to you. My current plan is to use the video series to do a voluntary staff development day between semesters this January.
Thank you so much for your help, and I hope I'll be meeting you in person some time soon.
Sincerely, Shir Filler
English Instructor, Assessment Coordinator, North Country Community College
It is good to know that there are books out there to teach critical thinking to younger children. In my teacher education program, critical thinking was emphasized as being very important, but we weren't given very good information as to how it should be implemented. Many of the textbooks emphasize only the lower levels of Bloom's Taxonomy, especially the knowledge section. Most school systems expect you to teach directly from the book with little deviation. When there is an opportunity for critical thinking, the students are not able to switch from those low levels easily. The students often rebel at actually having to think instead of just memorizing. It's unknown territory. Even high school students will say "but I don't want to think." It's a sad time in education when our children are actually being taught how to not think.
I received a copy of your critical thinking guide. IT IS A GOLDMINE. I sent your website to about 120 home economists around the world who then connect to their networks.
Great stuff! Sue L.T. McGregor PhD
Professor, Faculty of Education MSVU, Coordinator Peace and Conflict Studies Program
Good morning, this is note from an OVERJOYED high school Principal!!!
I have just received my Fedex package on materials I ordered yesterday and I am JUMPING FOR JOY!! Your materials are EXACTLY what I was looking for!!...I am ALWAYS searching for materials that are relevant, that offer rich and stimulating reading around teaching and learning and instructional strategies that are directly applicable. For the last two weeks I have been calling colleagues, researching materials to use for a Professional Development Day around using classroom discussions, developing good essential questions, focusing on fostering student thinkers…and FINALLY I have come across your materials!! YOU WILL BE HEARING MORE FROM ME AND I WILL BE BUYING MORE MATERIALS FROM YOU!!!! You cannot imagine the amount of slick, irrelevant, inappropriate, unhelpful materials that come across my desk to purchase. But you are ABSOLUTELY a gem! So I am writing to say THANK YOU!
High School Principal, Academy of the Pacific Rim