Florida Atlantic University Center for Teaching and Learning Faculty Learning Community 2009-2010 Critical Thinking ____________________________________________________________________________ LEADERS: Jari I. Niemi Assistant Professor Department of Philosophy FOCUS: The main aim of this workshop is to introduce its participants to the whys and ways of teaching their subject critically, a subject in which logical, evidence-based inquiry is essential. Many of us begin our careers with the aim of simply imparting knowledge to our students only to discover that their interest in the subject fast deteriorates. Students are often left with the impression that there is nothing further to add to the subject, except to show the instructor that the course content has been remembered sufficiently well to pass a final exam. However, subject areas are never static. Professors know this, but are often unsure sure how to convey it. To teach critically it is crucial to model the practice of thinking, speaking, and writing critically to students. In turn, students will learn to inquire into their subject, confronting the questions and solutions that confront us as scholars and teachers. Crucially, students are guided towards thinking rationally about their subject, learning when and how to form reasonable beliefs and reject the irrational. GOALS: The goal of this community is to discuss the issues involved in teaching critical thinking. Discussion and collaboration are the keys to the success of the workshop. We expect a lively and evolving debate about strategies essential to conveying the critical spirit to students in the classroom. But we must all be in agreement that students need to grasp the benefits of clear, logical thought in the pursuit of truth and rational belief; they need to grasp the benefits of avoiding fallacious arguments and mere rhetoric. Junior faculty, including instructors, are particularly encouraged to participate. Andrew M. Dobson Instructor Department of Philosophy EXPECTATIONS (specific to this community’s participants): Active participation in meetings Discuss the fundamentals of critical thinking (concepts and practices) and what undergraduate students can reasonably be expected to learn Explore various ways of implementing critical thinking into a given syllabus and then provide a model syllabus Collaborate on their ongoing experiences with fellow FLC members and other members of the FAU community POTENTIAL MEETING TIMES: Fall and Spring Semester - Fridays: 1-3 pm. STIPEND: You will receive a $1,000 stipend for your active participation in the FLC and upon fulfilling all FLC expectations.