Critical Thinking Across the University Curriculum

In the counties of Central Europe, scholarship in the social sciences and the humanities have recently enjoyed a renaissance as new research is being done and new curricula are being developed. The main purpose of this course, though, is to develop the faculty’s competence in an important part of the university’s mission that is often under-emphasized: classroom teaching. If the modern university is to prepare a new generation of students to create the knowledge and procedures to help build new societies, those students should be encouraged--and in some cases, taught--to think, investigate, create, and communicate. Strategies for developing these abilities can be built into the fabric of university teaching, using the content that is already covered in the course.

This seminar is intended for university faculty in all disciplines, especially the humanities and social sciences. Participants will consider the rationale for using techniques for active learning with university students. They will design course syllabi that deliberately encourage and support students as they learn through inquiry and develop some autonomy as learners and researchers. They will try out techniques for cooperative learning, leading discussions, using writing to learn, and supporting students’ research.
Finally, the seminar includes several ways to assess students’ learning.

Topic Assignment
1 What needs fixing in university level pedagogy? From, R. Light, Making the Most of College.
2 How does the college experience help students grow? From W. Perry, Forms of Intellectual and Ethical Development in the College Years.


Topic Assignment

1 What needs fixing in university level From, R. Light, Making the
pedagogy? Most of College.

2 How does the college experience help From W. Perry, Forms of
students grow? Intellectual and Ethical Development in the College Years.

3 Planning courses that support From Critical Thinking
active learning: An overview. Across the Curriculum.

4. Course planning for inquiry: From Critical Thinking
Making the material problematical. Across the Curriculum.

5. Discipline-Specific Teaching Methods From Critical Thinking
of Investigation and Reporting: Across the Curriculum.
Cooperative learning.

6. Conducting discussions. From Critical Thinking
Across the Curriculum; From.
C. Bonwell and J. Eison,
Active Learning: Creating Excitement in the Classroom.

7. Using Writing to Encourage Thinking. From T. Bean, Engaging Ideas.

8. Supporting student research. K. Macrorie. I-Search.

9. Service learning: Using the surrounding Campus Compact, Handbook
community as a laboratory for Service Learning.

10. Assessment in higher education. P. Ewell, “Perpetual Movement: Assessment After 20 Years;” From C. Temple et. al., Reading & Writing for Critical Thinking: Lesson Planning and Assessment.

Developed and Staffed by Critical Thinking International, Inc. [This seminar was delivered in Unhost, Czech Republic, and in Kiev, Ukraine, in 2002 -- 2003].