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29th Conference Concurrent Sessions

29th Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking

 Conference participants will choose concurrent sessions to attend on the morning of Day Three of the conference.  Here are some of concurrent sessions to be offered…

Selection of Session Abstracts


Implementing your institution's critical thinking initiative: Strategies for administrators, faculty, and staff
Patty Payette, Ph.D., Sharon LaRue, M.A., CPAT, and Karen Newton, MPH
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY
This session will provide an overview of guiding principles for organizational change developed by staff and faculty at the University of Louisville. In 2007, the University launched a multi-year institutional transformation to infuse the Paul-Elder model across the undergraduate curricula as part of their quality enhancement plan (QEP) required by their regional accrediting agency, SACS-COC. After two years of designing and implementing their campus-wide vision for a shared focus on critical thinking skills with faculty and staff, UofL QEP staff and two colleagues will present their framework for success, explain lessons learned so far, and share examples of successful integration of the model.
“Engineering” critical thinking: Faculty exemplars on course redesign and assessment from the University of Louisville’s Speed School of Engineering
James E. Lewis, Ph.D., Jeffrey L. Hieb, Ph.D., and James H. Graham, Ph.D.
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY
The J.B. Speed School of Engineering is at the beginning of a multi-faceted project to incorporate the Paul-Elder model of critical thinking across the undergraduate engineering curriculum. This is in part to fulfill the University wide quality enhancement program titled “Ideas to Action: Using Critical Thinking to Foster Student Learning and Community Engagement”. The program begins with the Introduction to Engineering course, ENGR 100, where critical thinking and the Paul-Elder model are explicitly taught. Implicit and explicit instruction of critical thinking continues in upper level courses. The purpose of this session is to investigate the intentional and transparent inclusion of critical thinking and the Paul-Elder model into specific engineering courses by examining some of the techniques used.   The courses discussed in this session will be the Introduction to Engineering course, Differential Equations (a common engineering sophomore level course), co-operative seminars co-operative reports, and a senior level Electrical Engineering course.
Strategies for teaching critical thinking across instructional settings: Pedagogy and best practices
Cathy Bays, Ph.D., and Edna Ross, Ph.D.
University of Louisville
Louisville, Kentucky
The purpose of this session is to share the current evidence on how faculty can incorporate critical thinking in their class, lab, practicum/field learning environment. Upon completion of this session participants will be able to 1.) Examine the evidence for critical thinking; 2.) Select at least one strategy to enhance critical thinking in their educational setting; and 3.)Identify methods to assess critical thinking. This highly interactive session will use a combination of reflective questions, Classroom Assessment Techniques (Angelo and Cross, 1993), and iClickers to accomplish the learning objectives. Additionally, university faculty exemplars for incorporating the Paul-Elder critical thinking model in the learning environments will be shared with the participants. Lastly, the presentation will include literature and experiential based strategies for assessing critical thinking.
The Paul-Elder Model in Action: Sociology, biology, and psychology faculty discuss their work with promoting critical thinking in their courses
Patricia Gagne, Ph.D., Jennifer Mansfield Jones, Ph.D., and Edna Ross, Ph.D.
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY
The Paul-Elder critical thinking model is a useful resource for faculty who wish to explicitly structure critical thinking into their assignments, assessments and course design. Faculty at the University of Louisville are infusing the concepts and language of the Paul-Elder model into their instructional design decisions as part of their quality enhancement plan (QEP) required by their regional accrediting agency, SACS-COC. Because the model provides a common language and structure for the teaching and learning of critical thinking across the undergraduate curricula, faculty from different disciplines and departments can utilize it in their courses. University of Louisville faculty will share their exemplary use of the Paul-Elder model in a panel discussion of a junior-level sociology course, a freshman human anatomy and physiology laboratory course, and a large-lecture introductory psychology course.
Critical Thinking Instruction: Adapting to Diverse Audiences
Agnieszka Alboszta
American English Institute (Department of Linguistics)
University of Oregon
Eugene, OR
Critical thinking, as defined by Dr. Paul and Dr. Elder, can be effectively fostered in a wide variety of classes and with learners of diverse educational backgrounds and little formal instruction in critical thinking. In this session, participants will be shown how activities – paraphrasing, analyzing thinking, assessing thinking, Socratic discussion- can be combined creatively to increase awareness of critical thinking and inspire its continued practice and application after the end of a course. Drawing on knowledge of the elements, standards, and traits as well as adult teaching experience, the presenter will suggest specific exercises and approaches that have helped learners to become increasingly aware of their reasoning and increasingly adept at improving it. Examples will be drawn from both face-to-face courses and an online teacher training course.
Imbedding Critical and Creative Thinking Into A Practice-Based Curriculum
Beverly G. Hart, RN PhD PMHNP 
 Professor of  Baccalaureate & Graduate Nursing
Eastern Kentucky University
Richmond, KY
Critical and creative thinking is a central concept in all practice-based undergraduate college programs, and has been a central concept in all nursing programs accredited by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.  In a practice-based profession, critical thinking is often conceptually difficult to teach and more problematic to empirically measure. This presentation will discuss one perspective on how to incorporate critical thinking curriculum-wide, the creation of a fertile learning environment, and the layering and leveling of critical thinking assignments across a practice-based curriculum. Other content will focus on the use of discipline specific reasoning processes in relationship to the Elements of Reasoning and the Paul and Elder Model of Critical Thinking, the use of the “SEEI” teaching model for a practice discipline, and various assessment measures.
Maximizing Critical and Creative Thinking in Simulations and Case Studies
Lynnette Noblitt, JD 
Professor of  Government
Eastern Kentucky University 
Richmond, KY
Instructors from a variety of disciplines already recognize the value of introducing simulations and case studies into their courses.  Research demonstrates that several aspects of student learning, including critical and creative thinking, are enhanced through the introduction of such classroom activities.  This session will focus upon how to maximize the critical and creative thinking that students accomplish in simulations and case studies.  Specifically, the session will introduce practical tips and advice that will assist instructors in the design and implementation of course simulations and case studies.  The session will also focus upon the assessment of these course activities and how instructors can design instruments that both encourage deep student learning and reflect student performance accurately.  Participants in the session will be encouraged to share their experiences with course simulations and case studies and to improve existing course activities during the session.   
Infusing a Model for Critical Thinking Campus-Wide Through a Quality Enhancement Plan
Beverly G. Hart, RN PhD PMHNP and Lynnette Noblitt, Ph.D.
Eastern Kentucky University
Richmond, KY
Eastern Kentucky University is finishing its second year of implementation of its Quality Enhancement Plan “to develop informed, critical and creative thinkers who communicate effectively.”  This presentation will focus on the administrative aspects of the QEP implementation, including the infrastructure elements.  EKU is promoting the Paul/Elder model of critical thinking and infusing it campus wide.  This presentation will discuss current methods of garnering faculty support, implementing the communications and marketing plan, providing professional development for faculty and staff, and designing the assessment plan.  The session will highlight the “QEP Coaches” program that promotes faculty and staff peer education, the proposed Critical Thinking Certification Program, and other instructional tools and programs currently under development that will promote critical thinking campus wide. 
Founding the Chowan Socratic Club: the Roles of Paul, Elder, and Lewis (C.S.) in the Pilot of the Chowan Critical Thinking Program
Larry J. Frazier, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Arts and Sciences
Chowan University
Murfreesboro, NC
Participants in this session will engage in an analysis and evaluation of the original course outcomes and schedule for Critical Thinking (CT) 102 – a course designed to introduce incoming freshmen to the elements and standards of effective critical thinking. CT 102 is one course within the Chowan Critical Thinking Program (CCTP), which was created as Chowan University’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).   Chowan University is a small, church-related university located in northeastern North Carolina. 
The CCTP proposes a two-course sequence taken in the student’s freshman year. The courses are based on the Paul and Elder model, with the first semester course (CT 101) focusing on dispositions and the second semester course (CT 102) focusing on elements and standards. CT 102 is to be a topical course. One component of the CCTP involved the implementation of pilot courses during the 2008-2009 academic year. This session will review the overall plan for the CCTP and briefly examine CT 101. The bulk of the session will be devoted to examining CT 102 – a course that was presented around the topic of “C. S. Lewis.” By analyzing and evaluating the original course schedule syllabus, participants in this session will be challenged to identify the purposes, point of view, and assumptions of the course and especially to evaluate the logic of those assumptions – logic which proved at times to be faulty, as the pilot course revealed. The analysis and evaluation of the participants will be compared to the actual lessons learned from the implementation of this course.
This session would be appropriate for individuals who are considering the implementation of a critical thinking program, especially in response to the QEP requirement.
Selling the Goods
Richard LaManna, Ph.D.
Chair, Arts & Communications
LIM-The College for the Business of Fashion
At LIM College in Manhattan, a college culture concerned with fashion forecasting, cutting-edge merchandising, and landing a coveted internship at an upscale store, we professors and administrators struggle to instill critical thinking skills in our students. Students are not entirely at fault for their weakened reasoning skills in an age of texting, keystrokes substituting for words, twitter, widespread plagiarizing, and aggressive marketing, all of which appear antithetical to the conscious pursuit of critical thinking.  Additionally, many of our students arrive unprepared from their high schools for vigorous intellectual thought. However, having begun attracting more academically inclined students to the college and fashion industry, we now face the challenge of incorporating more critical skills into our curriculum and classrooms.  By carefully integrating the elements of critical reading and reasoning into our faculty discussions and our student assignments, we intend to effect a more intellectually rigorous curriculum for our students.
Infusing Critical Thinking at a Community College: Year Three
Joel Levine, Ph.D.
Dean, Southwestern College
San Diego, CA
This concurrent session will feature hands-on activities so participants can have first-hand experience of some of the ideas and strategies being used to infuse fair-minded critical thinking at Southwestern College (San Diego County, California). We will present these ideas from four points of view: Student leadership concerning use of the Elements and Standards for decision-making; ESL faculty concerning developing students’ writing skills through OUR WRITING TOOLBOX; Reading faculty concerning building students’ reading skills through OUR READING TOOLBOX, and School Dean concerning building faculty teaching skills through infusion of critical thinking in classroom instruction. 
Truthiness, Trust, and Technology: Critical Thinking in the Age of Convergence
Mary Filice
Faculty, Media Concentration, AEMM Department
Columbia College Chicago
In October 2005, political satirist Stephen Colbert proclaimed “the truthiness is, anyone can read the news to you; I [Colbert] promise to feel the news for you.” A year later, Merriam-Webster bestowed their Word of the Year Award to “truthiness,” a fake word created by a fake cable-news talk-show host. But what is the impact of this convergence of information and entertainment? What does it mean that “truth” is gained from a fake talk-show?
This session explores the cultural, social, and technological phenomenon of convergence, examining its effect on how we consume, comprehend, and create information (think “the wisdom of crowds” and “information multitasking”).   We’ll brainstorm ways to better identify and foster disciplined critical thinking skills in our students, encouraging their understanding and application of analytic thinking and intellectual standards while emphasizing the elements of reasoning.
The process of critical thinking in Iranian nursing education: A Qualitative Research

Dr. Marzieh Hasanpour

Assistant Professor in Nursing

Isfahan University of Medical Sciences 



While the history of ‘critical thinking’ goes back to ancient Greek Philosopher’s era, yet it was from 1950s that such concept, was implemented as an effective means to improve learning in general education. In recent decades nursing education has emphasized on critical thinking as a core and essential competency of students and nurses. Nurses as critical thinkers will be able to provide favored care in healthcare system with rapidly changing knowledge and technology developments in complexity modern world. To date, no research has been conducted to describe critical thinking concept and to examine its process in Iran nursing education. The purpose of this study was to explore the process of critical thinking in nursing education.