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2023 Critical Thinking Academy

The 2023 Critical Thinking Academy

First In-Person Event Since 2019!

October 13-15, 2023

Compton Gardens & Arboretum
Northwest Arkansas
312 N. Main Street
Bentonville, AR 72712

Session Options

Click Titles for Descriptions

The Paul-Elder Framework for Critical Thinking Is Used in K-12 and Higher Education, in Business, and in Military and Intelligence Work

For over 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, trainers, and consultants 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 2023 Critical Thinking Academy. This event will be led by Dr. Linda Elder and Dr. Gerald Nosich, international authorities on critical thinking, and Dr. Brian Barnes, university professor and longtime Scholar at the Foundation for Critical Thinking.

About Our Presenters

Dr. Linda Elder

Dr. Linda Elder is an educational psychologist and a prominent authority on critical thinking. She is President of the Foundation for Critical Thinking and Executive Director of the Center 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 at all levels. She is author of Liberating the Mind: Overcoming Sociocentric Thought and Egocentric Tendencies , and has coauthored four books (including 30 Days to Better Thinking and Better Living through Critical Thinking , Fact Over Fake: A Critical Thinker’s Guide to Media Bias and Political Propaganda , and Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Professional and Personal Life ) as well as 24 Thinker's Guides.

Dr. Elder has also developed an original stage theory of critical thinking development. Concerned the relationship between thinking and affect, as well as the barriers to critical thinking, Dr. Elder has placed these issues at the center of her thinking and her work.

With experience in both administration and the classroom, Dr. Elder understands firsthand the problems facing educators, administrators, and business leaders.

Dr. Gerald Nosich

Dr. Gerald Nosich is a noted authority on critical thinking and has given more than 250 workshops to instructors and governmental agencies on all aspects of teaching it. He is the author of Reasons and Arguments, Learning to Think Things Through: A Guide to Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum, and Critical Writing: Using the Concepts and Processes of Critical Thinking to Write a Paper.

Dr. Nosich has given workshops for instructors at all levels of education in the United States, Canada, Thailand, Lithuania, Austria, Germany, Singapore, and England. He has worked with the U.S. Department of Education on a project for a National Assessment of Higher Order Thinking Skills, given teleconferences sponsored by PBS and Starlink on teaching for critical thinking, served as a consultant for ACT in Critical Thinking and Language Arts assessment, and been featured as a Noted Scholar at the University of British Columbia. He is author of numerous articles, audio and videotapes on critical thinking. Dr. Nosich has been Assistant Director at the Center for Critical Thinking at Sonoma State University and is Professor Emeritus at the State University of New York Buffalo State and at the University of New Orleans.

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, along with other non-academic careers, and currently teaches face-to-face and online classes at several universities in traditional philosophy topics, sustainability, and critical thinking. He has co-authored articles examining critical thinking strategies and tactics for the National Teaching and Learning Forum and is author of the textbook, The Central Question: Critical Engagement with Business Ethics.

Dr. Barnes co-hosts the weekly radio show, Critical Thinking for Everyone!, on 106.5 Forward Radio in Louisville. He also created Adventures in Critical Thinking, a critical thinking comic book series.

Academy Overview and Purposes

The Academy will entail three days of interactive workshops that will enhance your understanding of critical thinking and how to best foster it in your courses and classes, as well as at your institutions.

The Academy will be held in a retreat setting in beautiful Northwest Arkansas, near 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, and administrators, as well as government, business, and military trainers and leaders working to bring substantive critical thinking across their respective institutions, or into specific departments or divisions.

The advanced sessions are 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 and work.

Don’t miss this opportunity to work with international 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 core concepts and principles in critical thinking, which are essential to skilled reasoning through problems and issues in every field of study and within all domains of human thought.
  • Teachers, faculty, and administrators at any level who seek to understand the proper role of intellectual standards in teaching and learning, as well as how to foster understanding of critical thinking standards in student thinking.
  • Colleges and universities committed to bringing critical thinking into the foundations of instruction across their respective institutions or within particular departments or courses.
  • 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, and the military who seek to use and teach the Paul-Elder Approach in their work as trainers or consultants.
  • Instructors with existing knowledge of critical thinking who seek to more deeply command the concepts and principles found in a rich conception of it.

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.

Registration Rates

Event Registration Options

Cost Per Person

If Paid by August 6th, 2023

1 Person

2-3 people

4-6 People

7 or More

Early-Bird Registration





If Paid AFTER August 6th, 2023

1 Person

2-3 people

4-6 People

7 or More

Standard Registration





20% Off

Already a member? Email us for your scholarship!

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, their learning, 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.