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Critical Thinking Training for Trainers and Advanced Academy


Critical Thinking Training for Trainers and Advanced Academy

Infusing Robust Critical Thinking Into Your Courses, Curriculum, Assessment Process, and/or Consulting Work

Learn the World-Renowned Paul-Elder Framework for Critical Thinking, How to Teach it to Colleagues, and How to Infuse It Across  the  Curriculum  

April 12-14, 2019 plus two follow-up webinars 

Registration Closed

  Academy was held at Compton Gardens 

a retreat setting in Bentonville, Arkansas

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, trainers, and consultants to join us at the Critical Thinking Training for Trainers and Advanced Academy. This event will be led by   Dr. Linda Elder, international authority on critical thinking and educational  psychologist, and  Dr. Brian Barnes, university professor and Visiting Scholar at the Foundation for Critical Thinking .

Academy Description and Purposes

The Academy will begin with three days of interactive workshops that will enhance your understanding of critical thinking and how to best foster it in your courses and training programs. The event will be followed by a voluntary one-hour webinar Tuesday, April 30 , which will be followed by a second voluntary  one-hour webinar on Saturday, May 18. The follow-up webinars are designed to help you continue advancing in critical thinking by learning to develop your instructional design plans and processes under the direction of our critical thinking experts. 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 world-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 facilitators working to bring substantive critical thinking across their respective institutions, into specific departments or divisions, or into their consulting or training work. It is also 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 teaching. 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 .

The Academy will lay the groundwork for participants to lead beginning workshops in critical thinking that foster initial understanding of critical thinking concepts and principles, as well as the ability to teach for it in the classroom and in consulting work. Don’t miss this opportunity to work with world-class authorities on critical thinking in a small, retreat setting.

Participants will work through the activities that they will be facilitating at their respective institutions, within their departments or divisions, or in their work as trainers or consultants. They will then practice designing and facilitating these activities themselves. Facilitators should not expect to internalize critical thinking at a deep level (which, like learning to play the violin, is not possible in only a few days), but to learn to facilitate understanding of critical thinking using materials designed and developed by the Foundation for Critical Thinking.

Those who will benefit from this Academy include:

  • Colleges and Universities seeking re-accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and who are placing critical thinking at the hearts of their Quality Enhancement Plans.
  • Colleges and Universities seeking accreditation or re-accreditation with emphasis on critical thinking (including critical reading and critical writing) through any other accreditation body.
  • Colleges and Universities committed to bringing critical thinking into the foundations of instruction across their respective institutions or within particular departments or divisions.
  • K-12 school districts and schools committed to infusing critical thinking within their curricula.
  • Those in business who seek to use and teach the Paul-Elder Approach in their work as trainers or consultants.
  • Instructors who seek to more deeply command the concepts and principles found in a rich conception of critical thinking.

Because presenting to one another will be part of the work assigned to Academy participants, we ask that attendees bring a laptop, tablet, or other device to help facilitate these presentations.

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, 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 Option
Price Per Attendee

Early Registration

Register by December 31, 2018

  • 1 attendee: $990
  • Group of 3+: $790

Standard Registration

Available December 31, 2018 - April 11, 2019

  • 1 attendee: $1,190
  • Group of 3+: $990

The Foundation for Critical Thinking

  • At the Foundation for Critical Thinking, we strive to contribute to a more reasonable, rational, productive, 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 most of the 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.

Critical Thinking Resources for Educators and Trainers

Each year, tens of thousands of students, faculty, and trainers use publications from our Thinker's Guide Library in teaching and learning critical thinking. Visit our bookstore to see the many guides we offer. 

We also offer customized professional development in critical thinking – both on-site and online – for instructors, educational administrators, and businesses. In our programs, we help participants contextualize critical thinking within their fields and learn how best to employ critical thinking in reasoning through the complex challenges they face every day. To learn more about our professional development opportunities, please submit a Professional Development Information Request Form or email Ms. Rachael Collins at

About Our Presenters

Dr. Brian Barnes

Dr. Brian Barnes holds a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Humanities and an MA in Philosophy from the University of Louisville. Barnes is a veteran of the US Army and currently teaches face-to-face and online classes at several universities in critical thinking. He has co-authored articles examining critical thinking strategies and tactics for the National Teaching and Learning Forum and is the author of the textbook, The Central Question: Critical Engagement with Business Ethics (2013). Barnes co-hosts the weekly radio show, 'Critical Thinking for Everyone!'; he also created the critical thinking comic book series, Adventures in Critical Thinking.

Dr. Linda Elder

Dr. Linda Elder is an educational psychologist and an international authority on critical thinking. She is President and Senior Fellow of 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. She is highly sought-after as a leading expert on critical thinking.

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