by Dr. Linda Elder,
President–Foundation for Critical Thinking
Though many in education tout the words “critical thinking,” and though the term has now been percolating in our schools for some decades, still, today, relatively few educators are fostering a rich conception of it in their work and lives, and very few people have any notion of what a rich conception of critical thinking entails.
To help you continue advancing your understanding of critical thinking and ability to foster it in teaching and learning, we are offering two international academies in the spring along with our summer international conference.
Register now for our upcoming Spring International Academies. We will be hosting them in San Diego, California (March 3-5, 2017) and Seattle, Washington (April 28-30, 2017). Registration will also open soon for the 37th Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking and Educational Reform (Sonoma State University, California, July 31-August 4).
We hope you are using one or more of our Thinker’s Guides in your courses with students. If you would like to receive desk copies of the following guides, and you are in the US, we will gladly send them to review for student use:
The latter two are especially timely, given current trends in politics, news media, and how people typically reason and communicate within these domains
If you have not seen these guides and would like to review them, please email [email protected] with the following:
- Your name.
- The name of your institution.
- Your physical mailing address.
- The title(s) of the course(s) in which the guides might be adopted.
- The estimated student enrollment of these courses.
I leave you this week with a brief, but well timed, excerpt from Bertrand Russell’s 1940 essay, “The Functions of a Teacher.”
“The thing, above all, that a teacher should endeavour to produce in his pupils if democracy is to survive, is the kind of tolerance that springs from an endeavour to understand those who are different from ourselves.”
Intellectual empathy, intellectual courage, intellectual autonomy, intellectual integrity, fairmindedness, and confidence in reason: these and other intellectual standards must take the places of prejudice, paranoia, cruelty, and other manifestations of sociocentric irrationality if we are to inhabit a safer, kinder, more reasonable and sustainable world. I thank you for working with us toward this indispensable goal.