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Webinar Q&A Sessions
in the Center for Critical Thinking Community Online

Join the Center for Critical Thinking Community Online to participate in webinar Q&A sessions with our internationally recognized Fellows and Scholars.

Register below for a webinar, participation in which is included with Community Online membership. Typically, our webinar announcements provide activities for you to complete ahead of time in the Community Online. These will be relevant to the topic at hand. Then, at the actual webinar, you are given the opportunity to ask questions of our Fellows or Scholars about the new understandings you've gained by completing the activities.

Remember: you need a Center for Critical Thinking Community Online account to participate in these webinars. If you are brand new, a 30-day free trial is available.


Upcoming Webinars

 

January 14th, 2021

 
8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
(5:00 p.m. Pacific)

Duration: 90 Minutes

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a clear and painful example of how our thinking determines the quality, and sometimes even the continuation, of human life. Its widespread, largely preventable devastation, wrought from failures in reasoning at all levels of society, has provided a harrowing reminder of what can happen when we fail to sufficiently think through our choices.

Each day, we who are living through this tumultuous time face many of the same questions that arose when the pandemic began: how do I best protect myself, my loved ones, and my community? How much risk must I accept to meet the demands of day-to-day living, and how can I mitigate that risk to the greatest extent possible? When do my choices pose threats not only to myself, but to others? How do I meet my ethical obligations to those around me? How best can I address the secondary challenges manifested by this pandemic, such financial woes, loneliness, turmoil within my social circle, and depression?

While this webinar deals with critical thinking as an indispensable skill set for weathering a pandemic, its implications apply more broadly to other extraordinary challenges – especially those occurring on a massive scale, such as during natural disasters or protracted social unrest.

This session will be driven by your questions. Below, you will find several activities to complete ahead of time in the Center for Critical Thinking Community Online, all relating to critical thinking and its applications to the sort of pandemic we are facing now. Dr. Elder will presuppose that attendees have studied the subject matter through these activities, and therefore, the webinar will be based on what questions you bring to the discussion.

The following are the activities that we ask you to complete prior to the webinar.

1) If you have not studied the Paul-Elder Framework for Critical Thinking to any significant extent, we strongly recommend that you complete the assignments listed under the webinar description below for ‘The Elements of Reasoning, Intellectual Standards, and Intellectual Traits.’ (At minimum, complete all of the reading and viewing activities.)

2) Triangle of Thinking, Feeling, and Desires: Review the reading and diagrams on this page, and follow its recommendation to read pages 3-10 in The Human Mind.

3) Think of a situation you were in recently that resulted from the pandemic, where you experienced a negative emotion such as anger, frustration, depression, insecurity, or fear. Complete the activity ‘Understanding the Relationships Between Thinking, Feeling, and Emotions’ with this situation in mind.

4) Think of the most significant problem you now face as a result of the pandemic. Complete the activity ‘Analyze the Logic of a Problem or Issue’ with this problem in mind.

5) Read pages 4-15 in The Thinker’s Guide to Ethical Reasoning.

6) Strong-Sense Versus Weak-Sense Critical Thinking: Complete the reading at the top. Then, complete the activity; for questions 3 and 4 in the activity, think specifically of examples of your thinking that relate to the pandemic. Then answer question 5 with those examples in mind.

Remember that you need a Center for Critical Thinking Community Online account to participate in this discussion. If you are brand new, a 30-day free trial is available.

Note: All webinar registrants will be emailed within 48 hours of the start of the webinar with a link to where it can be accessed. In some cases, your email server may incorrectly filter the email as spam, so please check your spam folder as well.


Critical Thinking and Responsible Freedom of Speech [Dr. Linda Elder, Senior Fellow]

 

February 3rd, 2021

Link Coming Soon!
 

8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
(5:00 p.m. Pacific)

Duration: 60 Minutes

People frequently misunderstand the concept of Freedom of Speech, believing they can say anything they want, whenever they want, and in any way they want to, even if people get harmed in the process. But Freedom of Speech as a universal ideal does not endorse or excuse vulgar, belligerent, quarrelsome, loud-mouthed discourse designed to destroy and damage; instead, it presupposes that one is adhering to guiding principles for reasoning. This entails engaging in disciplined reasoning using universal intellectual standards such as clarity, accuracy, depth, bread, logicalness, and sufficiency. It also presupposes that the reasoning being put forth “freely” is embodying and exhibiting intellectual virtues such as intellectual empathy, intellectual humility, intellectual autonomy, confidence in reasoning, and fairmindedness.Freedom of speech is also connected to freedom of thought, which presupposes the same guiding principles for reasoning.

How do we create societies which honor and encourage freedom of speech based in critical thinking principles? How do we create classrooms which advance freedom of speech and freedom of thought using disciplined reasoning? How do we create business and government cultures that encourage disciplined freedom of thought and speech? These are some of the questions we will explore in this session. Bring your questions and join us for what will surely be a provocative Q&A session. 

Remember that you need a Center for Critical Thinking Community Online account to participate in this discussion. If you are brand new, a 30-day free trial is available. 

Note: All webinar registrants will be emailed within 48 hours of the start of the webinar with a link to where it can be accessed. In some cases, your email server may incorrectly filter the email as spam, so please check your spam folder as well.


Critical Thinking for Students: Your Questions About The Foundations of Critical Thinking [Dr. Linda Elder, Senior Fellow]

 

February 17th, 2021

Link Coming Soon!
 

8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
(5:00 p.m. Pacific)

Duration: 60 Minutes

 

Critical thinking skills, abilities and traits are essential to deep learning. This Webinar Q&A session Is designed for students from middle school through higher education who are interested in developing their critical thinking abilities and who are self-motivated to learn. We ask all participants to complete the activities listed below before attending.

Students must be over 13 years of age to participate, and students aged 14-17 must have the permission of a legal guardian.

Students attending: be aware that this Q&A session focuses on your questions, so please complete the following activities and then bring your questions to the session  

1. Read through this partial copy of The Aspiring Thinker’s Guide to Critical Thinking.

2. Read pages 14-15 and 35-36 in The Thinker’s Guide to How to Study & Learn a Discipline.

3. Complete this activity in the Criteria Corner after reading the section introduction near the top of the page.

4. Complete this activity in the Wheel of Reason after reading the introduction near the top of the page.

Remember that you need a Center for Critical Thinking Community Online account to participate in this discussion. If you are brand new, a 30-day free trial is available. Students must be over 13 years of age to participate, and students aged 14-17 must have the permission of a legal guardian.

Note: All webinar registrants will be emailed within 48 hours of the start of the webinar with a link to where it can be accessed. In some cases, your email server may incorrectly filter the email as spam, so please check your spam folder as well.


Past Webinars

The Elements of Reasoning, Intellectual Standards, and Intellectual Traits [Dr. Linda Elder, Senior Fellow]

Webinar Held December 30th, 2020
View Recording Here


8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time
(5:00 p.m. Pacific)

Duration: 90 Minutes

The elements of reasoning (also known as the elements of thoughts, components of thinking, etc.), the intellectual standards, and the intellectual traits (or intellectual virtues) together form the bedrock of critical thinking theory. Understanding these conceptual sets and their relationships with each other is the first step in elevating one’s reasoning, while deepening that comprehension through continued study and practice is a lifelong journey. Most people who begin to learn the fundamentals of critical thinking stop learning before they have a chance to adequately internalize them, and therefore to use them with significant consistency and effectiveness.

This webinar asks you to complete several activities ahead of time in the Center for Critical Thinking Community Online, all relating to the three concepts above, and to formulate questions that you can bring to the session. Therefore, Dr. Elder will presuppose that attendees have studied the subject matter through these activities, or previously through attending our conferences, academies, or courses. This webinar will be almost entirely based on the questions you bring to the discussion.

The following readings and activities are recommended prior to the webinar:

1) Review Page 14 in The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts & Tools.

2) Watch ‘Critical Thinking and the Basic Elements of Thought.’

3) Complete the activity ‘Analyze the Logic of a Problem or Issue’ after reading the template and example at the top of the page.

4) Review pages 19 and 20 in The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts & Tools.

5) Watch ‘Critical Thinking - Standards of Thought - Part 1.’

    Also watch ‘Critical Thinking - Standards of Thought - Part 2.’

6) Begin to Think About Intellectual Standards: after examining the diagram at the bottom of the page, complete the activities for at least four of the intellectual standards listed. The more you complete, the better you will understand how the various intellectual standards can be applied to the elements of thought.

7) Read ‘The Elements of Reasoning and the Intellectual Standards.’

8) Read ‘Valuable Intellectual Traits.’

9) Watch Parts 1-3 of ‘Intellectual Virtues by Dr. Linda Elder.’

10) Complete the activity ‘Articulate Your Own Definitions of Intellectual Virtues.’ (Activity begins halfway down the page.)

11) Examine the diagram on page 12 of The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts & Tools. Write at least four examples of how applying a given intellectual standard to a given element of reasoning can help develop a given intellectual trait over time.

Example: ‘Checking my assumptions for accuracy can help me to develop intellectual humility.’

Remember that you need a Center for Critical Thinking Community Online account to participate in this discussion. If you are brand new, a 30-day free trial is available.

Note: All webinar registrants will be emailed within 48 hours of the start of the webinar with a link to where it can be accessed. In some cases, your email server may incorrectly filter the email as spam, so please check your spam folder as well.


Why Intellectual Character is Essential to Strong-Sense Critical Thinking and to Reasoning Within All Fields of Study [Dr. Linda Elder, Senior Fellow]

August 18th, 2020

     Registration Closed
(Watch for new webinars to be announced soon!)

 

1:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time
(10:00 a.m. Pacific)

Duration: 50 Minutes


What is strong-sense critical thinking? What is weak-sense critical thinking? Where do you see either being played out in human life today? What is intellectual character and how do we develop it in ourselves and in our students? How do intellectual virtues interrelate with intellectual skills and abilities? Why is the development of intellectual character essential to teaching and learning, and to high-level functioning in personal and professional life? Can people develop intellectual traits partially? If so, how might this be manifest? In this webinar discussion, Dr. Elder will address these questions, as well as your questions about how to cultivate intellectual character in students and in yourself.

Prior to the webinar, please complete the numbered items listed below, which are found in the Center for Critical Thinking Community Online. In this discussion, Dr. Elder will presuppose that attendees have studied the Intellectual Virtues through these activities, or previously through attending our conferences, academies, or courses. Therefore, the webinar will be based on the questions you bring to the discussion.

1) Study Intellectual Virtues by reading pages 14 & 15 in The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools.

2) Read pages 37 & 38 in The Thinker's Guide on How to Study and Learn a Discipline.

3) Study Intellectual Virtues by watching this video.

4) Read the definitions of weak-sense critical thinking and strong-sense critical thinking in A Glossary of Critical Thinking Concepts and Terms.

5) Complete the four activities on this page.

Remember that you need a Center for Critical Thinking Community Online account to participate in this discussion. If you are brand new, a 30-day free trial is available.


Note: All webinar registrants will be emailed within 48 hours of the start of the webinar with a link to where it can be accessed. In some cases, your email server may incorrectly filter the email as spam, so please check your spam folder as well.


Bringing Analysis to the Center of Instruction Using the Tools of Critical Thinking [Dr. Linda Elder, Senior Fellow]

 This event has concluded. Links to the video recordings on the Center for Critical Thinking Community Online are below.
 

Webinar Held June 9th, 2020
View Recording Here

 

4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time
(1:30 p.m. Pacific)

Duration: 50 Minutes


How is thought best analyzed in any field of study? What are the parts of thinking or elements of thought? How can you bring analysis of thought more explicitly into teaching and learning? In this webinar discussion, Dr. Elder answers these questions, as well as your questions about how to bring explicit analysis to the core of instruction.

Prior to this discussion, please complete the numbered items listed below, which entail video, reading, and activities in the Center for Critical Thinking Community Online. During the discussion, Dr. Elder presupposes that attendees have studied the elements of reasoning through these activities, or previously through attending our conferences, academies, or courses.

1) Study the elements of reasoning by reading the following pages in The Thinker’s Guide to Analytic Reasoning: pages 4- 7, 12-13, 22, 40-41, and 51-52.

2) Study the elements of reasoning by watching these videos:

3) Complete the following activity:


4) Complete this activity in writing; write out the logic of one subject you teach, focusing on the elements of thought.


What is Truth in a Post-Truth Political Era? [Dr. Linda Elder, Senior Fellow]

This event has concluded. Links to the video recordings on the
Center for Critical Thinking Community Online are below.

Recording Published Wednesday April 22, 2020
View Recording Here

Live Discussion with Q&A Held Thursday April 23, 2020
View Recording Here

2nd Live Discussion with Q&A Held Friday April 24, 2020
View Recording Here 

 
Note: Due to widespread latency issues caused by abnormally high internet traffic during the COVID-19 lockdown, and the resulting risks posed to live video feeds, this webinar was changed from a live event to a prerecorded presentation. Two live Q&A sessions took place after the video was published (see details above and below).

Truth seems at the moment a matter of debate. No wonder, since in today’s political climate, lies are routinely camouflaged as truth so that truth has little chance of emerging from under the many levels of deception, manipulation, and mind-control. The people, as a result, are run roughshod over – fitting with a typical pattern throughout history.

The concept of truth in itself is fairly simple: 'based in facts, accurate.' But can we twist the concept of truth? Or, can we twist the truth and still have truth? Is truth whatever we decide it is? How do we apply the concept of truth in this or that situation? And when is truth relevant? How can people come to see through misuses of language that seek to cover up the truth?

This presentation will begin to deal with these questions using the explicit tools of critical thinking. You will be invited to apply critical thinking 'moves' (based in these questions) to today’s political arena, and to come up with your own examples of truth-as-lies and lies-as-truth. Be sure to have something handy to write with (either digital or manual), both to take notes before the live Q&A sessions and to complete any activities assigned.

Join us for this powerful presentation with many applications to living the examined life and dealing with life's many complexities.