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Online Certification Course

Online Course for Certification in the Paul-Elder Approach to Critical Thinking

Successful completion of this course fulfills the requirement for facilitators' training as described in our White Paper on Certification. Participants must demonstrate to our instructor that they sufficiently understand foundational critical thinking principles and theory.


Course Cost: USD $995
Dates: February 6 - April 30, 2024 (12 weeks)
Meeting Schedule: See below
Meeting Duration: 1.5 hours per meeting
Instructor:  Dr. Linda Elder, President & Senior Fellow
Prerequisites: Read Here

Important Dates

January 23, 2024: Last day to drop with a registration refund
February 2, 2024: Last day to register

February 6, 2024: Meeting 1 (7:00 p.m. EST)
February 20, 2024: Meeting 2
(7:00 p.m. EST)
March 5, 2024: Meeting 3 (7:00 p.m. EST)
March 19, 2024: Meeting 4 (7:00 p.m. EDT)
April 2, 2024: Meeting 5 (7:00 p.m. EDT)
April 30, 2024: Meeting 6 (7:00 p.m. EDT)
May 14, 2024: Meeting 7 (7:00 p.m. EDT) - Last Day of Instruction

 Registration Closed

Certification in the Paul-Elder Approach

The emergence of critical thinking as a fad has now placed genuine critical thinking at risk of being so watered-down as to be unrecognizable.

In the time since the core principles and concepts of critical thinking (now known as the Paulian Approach and the Paul-Elder Framework) were expounded by the Center for Critical Thinking beginning in the 1980s, the popularity of the term "critical thinking" has given rise to numerous approaches that are variously superficial, mistaken, or outright counterfeit. These competing systems, oftentimes appealing in their simplicity and well-crafted marketing, have in many circles supplanted more rigorous, comprehensive critical thinking understandings and methodology. On the whole, critical thinking scholarship is at risk.
At the same time, we know that many educators, consultants, and trainers are doing their best to facilitate understanding of the Paul-Elder Framework for Critical Thinking. While this is occurring at varying levels of quality, with the foundational concepts often shared incompletely or inaccurately, we applaud these efforts to keep robust critical thinking alive. They are an excellent start; what is needed now
is to ensure adequate standards through this facilitation.
We want to certify you in your ability to promote understandings of the Paul-Elder Framework for Critical Thinking - the world's most widely-adopted and substantive critical thinking approach; it is explicit, robust, applicable to all human reasoning in any context, and described entirely in natural language. In pursuit of this goal, we have overhauled our Certification Program to greatly reduce fees and add more pathways to completion. And we are now offering affiliations through this certification process for consultants.

For the full details of our Certification program, including benefits, requirements, and fees, please read our
White Paper on Certification. This paper was heavily revised in November of 2023 to reflect extensive changes to the Certification Program.

Prerequisites for This Course

Those wishing to participate in the Certification Course must have undergone one of the following:

1. successful completion of one of our semester-long online courses, plus engaged attendance at one of our past live events or guided study groups,

2. Engaged attendance at 3 (three) or more of our past live events, guided study groups, or a combination of these.

“Engaged attendance” means you attended the sessions and completed the assignments (both in-session activities and homework where applicable).

We can provide exemptions to these prerequisites in some cases. If you have worked with our approach in some significant manner not listed above (e.g., teaching at your institution or attending professional development workshops we've conducted), please contact us to discuss your potential unique route to certification.