Comments From Participants at Past Conferences
Though not everyone who has attended our conferences and academies has given us rave reviews, we are gratified that so many of them attest to the significance of the experience. For those interested, we have collected some of those comments here.
Of course, the best way to judge is to experience the conference for yourself.
" . . . . it was extremely rewarding, exciting, and humbling to interact with different cultures and backgrounds, with the common goal (with a common language) of seeking better thinking and answering questions of great relevance to myself – and to the world, it would seem. It was great to see Dr. Elder and the FCT team doing the vital work of Critical Thinking."
"It was an enriching learning experience that added significantly to my understanding and appreciation of critical thinking. I particularly liked having the opportunity to meet participants in the breakout rooms."
"The level of expertise and knowledge of the presenters are excellent. In addition, I appreciate their positive attitudes, willingness to explain concepts, clarity of visual aids and handouts, and opportunities to ask questions."
"I’m glad my General Education director insisted on my attendance at this Critical Thinking Conference. I’ve learned a great deal for application in both my teaching and my life in general."
"The workshops are intensive work in doing critical thinking, not just reading about it."
"The insights I have gained from this one conference far exceed any other conference I have attended to date. Wonderful, insightful, well presented!"
"Excellent sessions, challenging and thought provoking."
"Exceptional! Terrific! Stimulating!"
"I wish people in all walks of life would engage their minds and hearts in this way."
"Refreshing and useful!"
"It doesn’t matter how many times I attend, I always learn something new!"
"Very systematic, organized, insightful and inspirational, as always. Thank you!"
"Enjoyed sharing my understanding with others."
"Very helpful, just what I needed!"
"Great educational experience, I’m soaking it all in!"
"Great suggestions on how to focus on students’ strengths, not weaknesses, and how to apply the tools to empower them as critical thinkers."
"The workshop taught me the practicality of implementing critical thinking. I can’t wait to bring what I’ve learned back to my school."
"I would recommend this workshop to my colleagues, my dean and the college president because it is such a good primer. I would like to have more of my colleagues involved with critical thinking as professional development."
"Definitely learned new strategies!"
"I appreciate the group discussions according to the Socratic method. I also found very intriguing the Kantian idea that 'the [Intellectual] Standards are an a priori part of thinking. We don’t need science to prove them.' "
"I loved the practical ideas and activities we got to engage in."
"Exceeded my expectations. A very worthwhile experience."
"So glad to be able to return to further explore and hone my critical thinking skills."
"I’ve learned a lot that I will take home with me and ingest, teach and use."
"Lessons were practical and engaging. I now have more tools to teach critical thinking."
"I restructured my whole first day of class based on your keynote address. I can't believe no one ever introduced this to me before."
"This conference stimulated 'instructional' creativity. It also showed how to help students develop their understanding of and appreciation for asking questions."
"I gained a better understanding of the concept of knowledge and how to apply it to problems with critical thinking."
"Dr. Nosich is very good at this, with a casual and relaxed approach to the program and presentation."
"I appreciated the pace of material presented. This information requires many repetitions and supportive practice."
"It helped me to remember that I should carefully evaluate my reasons for letting students control certain parts of the instruction."
"I gained the 'aha!' of learning to separate issues and questions into religious, political, legal, ethical, etc. and an appreciation of how difficult it is to do."
"Great afternoon — you kept me thinking and questioning my own status as a thinker. I need to practice!"
"Linda is very knowledgeable; she inspires me to think more and more deeply."
"Reviewing the current (instructional) practices and thinking through how it could be changed, so as to shift the responsibility of learning to the students."
"Your "stepping-out" on the proverbial 'limb' in designing this conference was worthwhile. The info was clearly presented, usable, concrete and even FUN!"
"As usual this was concrete, usable and applicable to teaching. Dr. Nosich always does a good job."
"It provided a systematic way of evaluating general information."
"Excellent identification of intellectual traits and introspection to identify barriers."
"Recognizing/affirming the importance of significant ideas, which generate significant 'live' questions."
"Taking time to evaluate the intellectual traits as they apply to ourselves and developing a deeper understanding of those traits."
"This session challenged my assumption about the actual reading abilities of my students, I feel equipped to take my teaching of reading up several notches. Thank you! The design of this session increased in complexity very smoothly and at a good pace."
" Every reading teacher / reading program director needs this booklet [ How to Read a Paragraph ] . Why have we been making the teaching of reading such a ridiculously difficult endeavor? Shameful!"
"Thanks for all the sharing. Its been a catalyst for self reflection and the integration of all the ideas I’ve ever heard but never really thought seriously about."
"The most valuable thing was rebuilding a relationship with critical thinking methodology — which has reignited the flame!"
"This conference gave me time to reflect and grow in many aspects of personal and professional life."
"It reinforced the elements of reasoning and Socratic questioning."
"Discovering and working with colleagues as we thought through the content; joining a community of learners."
"It provides a depth of understanding that isn't possible from reading."
"It was life changing!"
"I had the opportunity to gain greater understanding of the elements of reasoning and the use of elements, as well as discussing instructional design so as to incorporate critical thinking."
"The conference is invigorating, both intellectually and emotionally, and it provides a wealth of practical strategies/methods."
"Linda is a great thinker and modeled that for us!"
"I have gained many good ideas from my colleagues. The conference has raised as many questions as it has given answers."
"Concrete information about how to implement critical thinking in a course."
"It helped me better understand the manner in which I can apply CT skills within the discipline of Biology."
"Among the most stimulating days I’ve ever spent intellectually."
"It is mind expanding and illuminating."
"My teaching is being transformed to inspire students’ development of critical thinking skills through practice and through effective facilitation."
"No one can possibly participate without changing (or learning) some aspect of how to improve their own thinking."
"Great information for teachers to be able to move their thinking forward, and be able to in turn pass this on to students."
"Truly 'Life Changing.' "
"Linda Elder’s knowledge and experience are simply awesome. Never felt anything but a 'comfort level' in learning. Awesome presentation skills."
"It’s informative, useful and important for assessing authentic learning."
"All exercises were useful and thought-provoking, yet fun."
"It prompted me to take better advantage of my leadership position to further infect my faculty peers with the critical thinking bug."
"Great think tank!"