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September 2019 Critical Thinking Educators and Administrators Academy

September 2019 Critical Thinking Educators and Administrators Academy

Event Cancelled

Understanding the Proper Role of Socratic Questioning And Assessment in Teaching and Learning   

 Plus: Advanced Seminar for Returning Delegates

A Two-Part Academy; Attend Two Days or Four

September 26 - 29, 2019

Includes Optional Followup Online Study Groups

Compton Gardens and Conference Center

312 N. Main St.
Bentonville, AR 72712

Event Cancelled

Includes Advanced Seminar for Returning Participants

First Workshop: September 26-27
Socratic Questioning and Critical Thinking: An Intimate Partnership

Socratic questioning encompasses a disciplined and systematic approach to questioning based on tools of criticality. It helps us explore, develop, evaluate, analyze, and come to terms with our thinking. It is invaluable in any aspect of life. It forms a key part of being a high-functioning teacher, student, professional, or government official. It involves the process of asking and addressing the questions that are essential in our personal and professional lives.

In Socratic questioning we explore complex ideas and issues, evaluate our assumptions, elucidate concepts and ideas, distinguish between what we know and what we only thought we knew, exercise intellectual humility and intellectual perseverance, and follow out the implications and consequences of our own thinking and the thinking of others.

Participants in these sessions will engage in the active practice of Socratic questioning, internalizing its methods as well as the critical thinking concepts and processes that lie at the heart of it. This session is for those educators, administrators, professionals, and government and military instructors who value critical thinking and the art of intelligent, disciplined questioning.

Second Workshop: September 28-29
Understanding the Proper Role of Assessment in Education

The purpose of assessment in instruction is improvement. The purpose of assessing instruction for critical thinking is improving the teaching of discipline-based thinking (historical thinking, biological thinking, sociological thinking, mathematical thinking, and so on). It is to improve students’ abilities to think their way through content using disciplined reasoning. 

However, there is often a crucial missing link between what we teach and how we assess what we teach. In instruction, we tend to think of our primary purpose as “teaching the content.” We tend to dedicate the first part of the course to “teaching the first part of the content.” We then at some point “assess” what students have “learned” in our courses (usually with a test which covers the “content” the students have presumably learned during this first period of the course). This same pattern is frequently repeated several times in a course, so that teachers and faculty come to believe they have thoroughly “covered” their content as long as student perform at “sufficient” levels on their tests.

But to internalize powerful ideas embedded in content entails assessing one’s learning while one is engaged in learning. Learning and the assessment of learning are intimately integrated in the mind of the disciplined reasoner. Put another way, learning and accurate assessment of that which has been learned are intertwined in the skilled reasoner.  Students come to take responsibility for their learning when they understand the intimate relationship between appropriate assessment of thought and the internalization of content. It is this for which we are aiming when we bring critical thinking and assessment to the core of teaching and learning.

This session will focus on methods for systematically integrating assessment through critical thinking into the teaching and learning process.  

Advanced Seminar for Returning Participants

Participants who have attended our conferences or academies in the past may sign up for one or both sessions of the Advanced Seminar (these options are available during the online registration process), which will be based upon the Oxford Tutorial Approach ( click here for our description and modification of this approach). Participants seeking Certification in the Paul-Elder Approach to Critical Thinking , and who have met the prerequisites, are able to complete the certification process during this Advanced Seminar.

In this Seminar, we will focus on the following topics:

  • Placing Analysis at the Heart of Your Teaching: Going Deeper (Days 1-2)
  • Socratic Dialogue as an Essential Structure in Teaching and Learning (Days 1-2)
  • Assessment as Integral to Critical Thinking: Going Deeper (Days 3-4)
  • Understanding Ethical Concepts and Principles and How They Relate to Critical Thinking (Days 3-4)
  • Creating a Thinker’s Guide to Your Discipline Using the Concepts and Principles of Critical Thinking (Days 3-4)  

The Paul-Elder Framework for Critical Thinking is Used in K-12 and Higher-Education Institutions Throughout the United States

For almost 40 years, The Foundation for Critical Thinking has taken the lead in advancing a robust, integrated, comprehensive conception of critical thinking throughout education and society. Consequently, the Paul-Elder Framework for Critical Thinking™ has been implemented by  educators at all levels and in all fields of study in the U.S. and abroad.

We invite all educators, administrators, professionals, and government officials to join us at the September 2019 Critical Thinking Educators and Administrators Academy. This event will be led by two leading international authorities on critical thinking: Dr. Linda Elder, Senior Fellow and educational psychologist, and Dr. Gerald Nosich, Senior Fellow and professor emeritus.

Academy Description and Purposes

The Academy will entail four days of interactive workshops which will enhance your understanding of critical thinking and how to best foster it in your courses and at your institutions. The academy will be followed a few weeks later by two voluntary, one-hour online study groups (with dates and times to be announced). The follow-up study groups are designed to help you continue advancing in critical thinking by developing your instructional design plans and processes under our direction. Certificates of Completion will be available at the end of the process.  

The Academy will be held in a retreat setting in beautiful Northwest Arkansas, near the internationally-renowned Crystal Bridges Museum and world-class biking trails. Participants will stay in local hotels and rentals of their choosing.

This Academy is designed for teachers, faculty, administrators, and trainers in business, government, and the military working to bring substantive critical thinking across their respective institutions or into specific departments and divisions.

The Advanced Seminar will be for those who have been studying in the Paul-Elder Approach to Critical Thinking, and who want to advance their understandings of the theory and application of critical thinking for use in their work. Those who have met the Foundation for Critical Thinking prerequisites for certification in the Paul-Elder Approach can achieve certification at this academy, should they meet the requirements and apply for certification according to our certification guidelines.

Don’t miss this opportunity to work with world-class authorities on critical thinking in a small retreat setting.

Those who will benefit from this Academy include:

     Teachers, faculty, and administrators who seek to understand the relationship between Socratic questioning and critical thinking across every field of study and within all domains of human thought.

     Teachers, faculty, and administrators who seek to understand the proper role of assessment in teaching and learning, as well as the relationship between assessment and critical thinking.

     Colleges and Universities committed to bringing critical thinking into the foundations of instruction across their respective institutions or within particular departments or divisions.

     Colleges and Universities seeking accreditation or re-accreditation with emphasis on critical thinking (including critical reading and critical writing) through any accreditation body.

     K-12 school districts and schools committed to infusing critical thinking within their curricula.

     Those in government, business, or the military who seek to use and teach the Paul-Elder Approach in their work as trainers, administrators, or consultants.

     Instructors who seek to more deeply command the concepts and principles found in a rich conception of critical thinking.

Recreational Group Activities at the Academy
We are organizing a group bicycle ride as well as a dinner and museum tour. Participants who wish to join for either or both of these activities are asked to notify us in advance; see details here .
Call for Presentation Proposals

We invite you to submit a proposal for an Academy Presentation at the the October 2019 Critical Thinking Educators and Administrators Academy to share your experiences in critical thinking!

Academy Presentations are conducted by Academy participants whose proposals have been approved by Fellows of the Foundation for Critical Thinking. Each presenter will take his or her turn giving a 5-10 minute presentation to all Academy attendees, and each individual presentation will be followed by a brief question-and-answer session in which all attendees are invited to ask questions of the presenter.

Presenters should be advised that technology (such as projectors) will not be available to our knowledge, but that they can bring reasonable aids such as handouts.

All Academy Presentations are expected to be couched in a substantive conception of critical thinking. To submit a proposal, please email us with the following information written into the body of your email (not in an attached file, please):

1.   Your first and last name, and the first and last name of any co-presenters. 

2.   The name of your institution and your professional title, and the same for any co-presenters.

3.  The title of the Academy Presentation you are proposing.

4.   A brief abstract, including the purpose/function of your Presentation (Academy participants should have a reasonably clear idea of what to expect by reading the abstract).

5.  A brief description of your conception of critical thinking. E.g., 'To me, critical thinking is . . .'

6.  Your preferred contact telephone number.

Why Do We Need Critical Thinking?

  • The world is swiftly changing, and with each day, the pace quickens. The pressure to respond intensifies. New global realities are rapidly working their way into the deepest structures of our lives: economic, social, cultural, political, and environmental realities with profound implications for thinking, teaching, learning, business, politics, human rights, and human relationships. These realities are becoming increasingly complex, and they all turn on the powerful dynamic of accelerating change.
  • Can we deal with incessant, accelerating change and complexity without revolutionizing our thinking? Traditionally, human thinking has been designed for routine, habit, automation, and fixed procedure. But the challenges that educators and students now face, and will increasingly face, require a radically different form of thinking – thinking that is more complex, adaptable, and rationally sensitive to divergent points of view. The world that students will inhabit in the 21st century demands that they are able to routinely rethink their decisions and reevaluate the ways in which they work and live. In short, there is a new reality facing us in which the power of the mind to command itself, and to regularly engage in self-analysis, will increasingly determine the quality of our learning, our teaching, and our lives.   
  • It is clear that, at present, most students are perilously unprepared to deal with the intricacies of the world they will be entering. The question of how to survive and succeed in this new reality is a question continually being transformed. Accelerating change and increasing complexity have sounded the death knell for traditional methods of thinking and instruction. How do we adapt to reality when reality seemingly won’t give us time to master it before it changes itself, again and again, in ways we can but partially anticipate? The only answer is to revolutionize our thinking.

The registration fee for this event covers tuition, learning materials, and the follow-up webinars. Limited scholarships are available - click here to learn more.

Registration Options
Cost Per Person
EVENT OPTIONS:  If Paid by July 1, 2019 1 person 3 or more people
Standard Academy: Sept. 26-27 (First 2 Days)
$649 $549
Standard Academy: Sept. 28-29 (Last 2 Days) $649 $549
Standard Academy: Sept. 26-29 (All 4 Days) $1,190 $949
Advanced Seminar: Sept. 26-27 (First 2 Days) $649 $549
Advanced Seminar: Sept. 28-29 (Last 2 Days) $649 $549
Advanced Seminar: Sept. 26-297 (All 4 Days) $1,190 $949
EVENT OPTIONS:  If Paid AFTER July 1, 2019 1 person 3 or more people
Standard Academy: Sept. 26-27 (First 2 Days) $769 $669
Standard Academy: Sept. 28-29 (Last 2 Days) $769 $669
Standard Academy: Sept. 26-29 (All 4 Days) $1,380 $1,129
Advanced Seminar: Sept. 26-27 (First 2 Days) $769 $669
Advanced Seminar: Sept. 28-29 (Last 2 Days) $769 $669
Advanced Seminar: Sept. 26-297 (All 4 Days) $1,380 $1,129

Event Cancelled

About Our Presenters

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 .

Dr. Linda Elder

Dr. Linda Elder is an educational psychologist and a prominent authority on critical thinking. She is President and Senior Fellow of the Foundation for Critical Thinking, 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.

About The Foundation for Critical Thinking
  • At the Foundation for Critical Thinking, we strive to contribute to a more reasonable, rational, productive, and just world. We help people develop the skills of mind they need to function better in their work and in every part of their lives. 
  • The human mind is our most powerful resource, and yet it is largely undeveloped, unskilled, and prejudiced. It distorts, engages in delusions and illusions, and is narrow in its reasoning. Deficiencies in thinking lie at the root of the most significant problems facing us today, and within the seeds of those we will face in the coming future. At the Foundation for Critical Thinking, we therefore seek to promote essential change in education and society through the cultivation of fairminded critical thinking thinking that is predisposed toward intellectual empathy, intellectual humility, intellectual perseverance, intellectual integrity, and intellectual responsibility. A rich intellectual environment is possible only with critical thinking at the foundation of society. Moreover, in a world of accelerating change, intensifying complexity, and increasing interdependence, critical thinking is now a requirement for economic and social survival.

Additional Information: