FROM PRINCE GEORGE'S COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Maintained by William Peirce
Coordinator, Reasoning Across the Curriculum
(Updated February 2007)
The MCCCTR website contains documents related to teaching critical thinking and reasoning in all disciplines. My hope is that other MCCCTR faculty will add material, making a rich collection of helpful documents available to teachers of reasoning. In this portion of the web site are articles based on workshop and conference presentations, a few articles from the Prince George's Community College Reasoning Across the Curriculum newsletter, and workshop handouts. Titles and annotations appear below.
Why do students resist analytical and critical thinking in our courses? Several perspectives offer explanations:
I. Poor High
II. Perspectives from the Field of Critical Thinking
III. Psychological Resistance to Thinking
IV. Levels of Intellectual Growth
Perry: stages of intellectual and ethical growth
Belenky et al.: perspectives on women's ways of knowing
V. Perspectives from Gender Differences
TO THINK: DISCIPLINARY PERSPECTIVES by Janet Donald.
Jossey-Bass, 2002. (about 3 pages)
REVIEW AND SUMMARY OF CREATING LEARNING CENTERED CLASSROOMS by Stage, Muller, Kinzie, and Simmons. Association for the Study of Higher Education, 1998. (about 3 pages)
REVIEW AND SUMMARY OF LEARNER-CENTERED TEACHING by Maryellen Weimer. Jossey-Bass, 2002. (about 6 pages)
STRATEGIES FOR TEACHING THINKING AND PROMOTING INTELLECTUAL DEVELOPMENT IN ONLINE CLASSES
Abstract: Analytical thinking and critical thinking can be taught very well online by using a variety of effective active learning strategies.
I. Online Strategies for Teaching Thinking(About 19 printed pages)
II. Online Strategies for Promoting Interactivity
III. Transforming Students’ Minds
Part Two: Perspectives from Learning and Cognitive Styles
[Currently being revised and not available]
Abstract: The print version of an interactive workshop, somewhat revised. I review several approaches to learning and cognitive styles. For some models I provide a brief overview (1-3 paragraphs): auditory/visual/kinesthetic, reflective/impulsive, holistic/analytic, right brain/left brain, learning-oriented/grade-oriented, and independent/dependent. I give the most attention (2-5 pages) to the popular models of field dependent/independent, David A. Kolb, the Myers Briggs personality types, and Robert Sternberg’s thinking styles. Throughout the presentation are suggested teaching strategies for applying the models in the classroom. The chief purpose of the presentation is to confront you with the problem that ALL teaching strategies and ALL testing methods will advantage some students and disadvantage others. (About 36 printed pages.)
HOW TO GET STUDENTS TO DO THEIR HOMEWORK
Article describing a procedure for ensuring that students arrive in class with their homework done, ready to participate in small group tasks. From PGCC Reasoning Across the Curriculum Newsletter Vol. 2, No. 3 (March 1996). Revised April 2003.
From Richard Paul's book, Critical Thinking: How to Prepare Students for a Rapidly Changing World. A one-page workshop handout listing a variety of questions to ask about any position, in four areas: origins, support, conflict with other thoughts, implications & consequences.
CASHIN ON QUESTIONING
Condensed version of "Answering and Asking Questions" by William E. Cashin of the Kansas State University Center on Faculty Evaluation and Development. Classroom tips and examples of questions that promote thoughtful class discussions. From PGCC Reasoning Across the Curriculum (RAC) Newsletter No. 4 (February 1995).
CREATING A COMFORTABLE CLASSROOM CLIMATE
Article by Marlene Cohen of PGCC speech faculty on "Creating a Climate in which Students Comfortably Speak Up." From the PGCC Reasoning Across the Curriculum Newsletter No. 4 (February 1995).
HIGH SCHOOL PREPARATION FOR THINKING
Summary of article by Sherrie Nist on students' lack of preparation in high school for thinking in college. From PGCC Reasoning Across the Curriculum Newsletter No. 2 (November 1994)
STRATEGIES FOR TEACHING CRITICAL READING
How do you as a disciplinary expert teach poor readers, writers, and thinkers to function well in your course if they arrive unprepared? Several strategies can help students read, write, and think better without taking a lot of the professor's time.
FIVE DIMENSIONS OF THINKING
The five dimensions of thinking described in Robert Marzano and others, Dimensions of Thinking: A Framework for Curriculum and Instruction. One-page workshop handout.
DISPOSITIONS TOWARDS CRITICAL THINKING
List of 16 dispositions towards critical thinking, developed by Robert Ennis. One-page workshop handout.
WAYS TO IMPROVE THINKING
Six ways to improve students' thinking. One-page workshop handout.
CHARACTERISTICS OF LOW-APTITUDE STUDENTS
Six characteristics of low-aptitude college students; they are limited by attitudes and thinking styles, not by low intelligence. One-page workshop handout.
One-page workshop handout on metacognition; from Robert Marzano and others, Dimensions of Thinking.
DESIGNING WRITING ASSIGNMENTS THAT TEACH THINKING
Handouts from a workshop on designing formal and informal writing assignments that promote disciplinary reasoning.
Table of Contents
1. Teaching Thinking Through Writing
2. Improving Assignment Instructions
3. Limitations of the Traditional Term Paper
4. Speech 109 Interpersonal Communication Assignment
5. Designing Grading Criteria for Formal Writing Assignments
6. Checklist Assessment for Article Review
7. Develop a Repertoire of Thinking Tasks
8. Ten Strategies for Designing Thinking Tasks
DESIGNING EFFECTIVE WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS
Summary of Chet Meyers on designing writing assignments that teach critical thinking, from his Teaching Students to Think Critically. Two-page workshop handout.
NATIONAL ASSESSMENT OF EDUCATIONAL PROGRESS
Brief summary of results from two studies. The 1992 National Assessment of Educational Progress: few students know how to use evidence well. In the 12th grade, 50-66 percent of the students were in the "minimally developed" category on the three essay tasks they were given. The 1996 National Assessment of Educational Progress: the percentage of high school students who learn independently from their textbooks is low (6 %). The percentage who write well is even lower (2 %) and of those who write adequately is not high--less than a third (31 %). Revised version of an article originally printed in PGCC Reasoning Across the Curriculum Newsletter.
OAKTON CC VIDEOTAPES ON TEACHING THINKING
Brief descriptions of seven videotapes for community college faculty on how to teach critical thinking; produced by the Critical Literacy faculty at Oakton Community College.
PERRY'S FIVE STAGES OF INTELLECTUAL GROWTH
Four stages of intellectual and ethical growth in the model by William Perry. One-page workshop handout.
BELENKY'S FIVE PERSPECTIVES ON INTELLECTUAL GROWTH
Five stages of intellectual growth in the model by Mary Field Belenky and associates. One-page workshop handout.
Classroom questions to ask that fit Bloom's cognitive taxonomy. One-page workshop handout from Maryland State Department of Education.
RESOURCES FOR TEACHING THINKING
List of books, publishers, addresses, and prices of basic books on teaching thinking. Two-page workshop handout.
USEFUL URLs FOR ARGUMENT AND PERSUASION
A list useful to students writing researched persuasive arguments: public policy sites, guidance for web searches, general information.
WWW SITES ABOUT TEACHING REASONING AND CRITICAL THINKING