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                                                           This Event has concluded...                      

                                                                    these are archive pages from the event. 


Join us for the  

International Spring Workshops 

on Critical Thinking   


Offered by the oldest organizations on critical thinking in the world 

 the Center & Foundation for Critical Thinking 

 March 22-24, 2013  
In Berkeley, California
 Adjoining UC Berkeley 


  - - - at the Claremont Resort Hotel & Spa - - -   

  Please scroll down for sessions, registration rates, hotel and presenter information. 

Choose one of the following sessions for the three day workshops:

Day One, Friday: choose one of the following… 

  1. Theory of Critical Thinking... led by Dr. Richard Paul
  2. Placing Critical Thinking at the Heart of Teaching and Learning... led by Brian Barnes
  3. For Administrators: Advancing Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum... led by Dr. Linda Elder


Day Two, Saturday: choose one of the following… 

  1. Fostering Critical Thinking in Higher Education: Practical Strategies... led by Dr. Richard  Paul & Dr. Linda Elder
  2. Critical Thinking and the Common Core State Standards... led by Brian Barnes


Day Three, Sunday: choose one of the following… 

  1. Helping Students Understand Critical Thinking as the Means to Self-Command, Self-Discipline, and Self-Fulfillment... led by Dr. Linda Elder 
  2. Critical Thinking and Socratic Questioning... led by Dr. Richard Paul & Brian Barnes


- Friday: choose one -


Theory of Critical Thinking… 

with Richard Paul


In this session, Richard Paul will focus on how we can use our conceptualization of the concepts and principles of critical thinking as tools for improving instruction and learning. Part of what Paul will argue is that we are helped or hindered by our conceptualization of critical thinking. He strongly supports the development of conceptualizations of critical thinking that are global, systematic, explicit, and Socratic. At the same time, he argues that we should develop a deepening interest in the specialized intellectual constructs created and used by professionals to engage in critical thinking within particular disciplines. Paul will emphasize ways in which we can help students become more global, systematic, and explicit critical thinkers while they are developing simultaneously as “intra-disciplinary” thinkers within a core academic discipline.


Placing Critical Thinking at the Heart of Teaching and Learning… 

with Brian Barnes


There is no more important goal in schooling than cultivating the intellect. But we cannot achieve this goal unless we place intellectual development at the heart of instruction. To do this, we must approach our students at all levels as thinkers, as persons capable of figuring things out for themselves, as persons with their own thoughts, emotions, and desires, as persons with minds of their own. However, thinking is often ignored in schooling (and indeed in society). Historically critical thinking has been treated in schooling as another add-on, as something interesting we combine with other things we do. But when we understand what it takes to cultivate the intellect we bring the concepts and principles of critical thinking into everything we do in the classroom. Critical thinking becomes the centerpiece of instruction. This is true because it is through critical thinking that we make explicit the intellectual tools students need to live successfully and reasonably, to grapple with the complex problems they will inevitably face, to think their way through content of any kind. Hence, this workshop will focus on the foundations of critical thinking, coupled with initial application to classroom structures and strategies. 


For Administrators: Advancing Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum…

with Linda Elder

Critical thinking, deeply understood, provides a rich set of concepts that enable us to think our way through any subject or discipline, through any problem or issue. With a substantive concept of critical thinking clearly in mind, we begin to see the pressing need for a staff development program that fosters critical thinking within and across the curriculum. As we come to understand a substantive concept of critical thinking, we are able to follow-out its implications in designing a professional development program. By means of it, we begin to see important implications for every part of the institution –redesigning policies, providing administrative support for critical thinking, rethinking the mission, coordinating and providing faculty workshops in critical thinking, redefining faculty as learners as well as teachers, assessing students, faculty, and the institution as a whole in terms of critical thinking abilities and traits. We realize that robust critical thinking should be the guiding force for all of our educational efforts. This session presents a professional development model  that can provide the vehicle for deep change across the curriculum, across the institution. Administrators at all levels should find this workshop useful, including those administrators focused on accreditation or reaccreditation through critical thinking.


  Saturday: choose one -

Fostering Critical Thinking in Higher Education: Practical Strategies…  

With Richard Paul and Linda Elder 


To study well and learn any subject is to learn how to think with discipline within that subject. It is to learn to think within its logic, to:

  • raise vital questions and problems within it, formulating them clearly and precisely.
  • gather and assess information, using ideas to interpret that information insightfully.
  • come to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against relevant criteria and standards
  • adopt the point of view of the discipline, recognizing and assessing, as need be, its assumptions, implications, and practical consequences.
  • communicate effectively with others using the language of the discipline and that of educated public discourse.
  • relate what one is learning in the subject to other subjects and to what is significant in human life.


To become a skilled learner is to become a self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinker who has given assent to rigorous standards of thought and mindful command of their use. Skilled learning of a discipline requires that one respect the power of it, as well as its, and one’s own, historical and human limitations. This workshop will offer strategies for helping students begin to take learning seriously. It focuses on the idea that substantive teaching and learning can occur only when students take ownership of the most basic principles and concepts of the subject


Critical Thinking and the Common Core State Standards… 

With Brian Barnes


The majority of states in the U.S. have adopted the Common Core Standards. Many, if not most, of these standards presuppose critical thinking. In this session some of the important relationships between the common core standards and the concepts and principles of critical thinking will be explored. Using understandings of the elements of reasoning, intellectual standards, and intellectual traits (learned in the first day of the workshops) participants will draw links between these essential understandings in critical thinking and the common core standards. Participants will continue to develop an integrated understanding of critical thinking that, when deeply internalized, will foster student achievement of the common core standards.


- Sunday: choose one -

Helping Students Understand Critical Thinking as the Means to Self-Command, Self-Discipline, and Self-Fulfillment… 

With Linda Elder


You are what you think. Whatever you are doing right now, whatever you feel, whatever you want--all are determined by the quality of your thinking. If your thinking is unrealistic, your thinking will lead to many disappointments. If your thinking is overly pessimistic, it will deny you due recognition of the many things in which you should properly rejoice. As Milton says in Paradise Lost, “The mind is its own place and in itself can make a hell of heaven or a heaven of hell.”  

If the quality of our students’ lives is not what they would wish it to be, it is probably because it is tied to the way they think about their lives. If they think about it productively, they will likely feel positive about it. If they think about it negatively, they will feel negative about it.

In human life, thinking is largely subconscious, that is, rarely put into words explicitly. The problem is that when we are not aware of our thinking, we have no chance of “correcting” it. When thinking is subconscious, we are in no position to see problems in it. And, if we don’t see problems in it, we won't be motivated to “solve” these problems.

If students focus on improving the quality of your thinking, they can better achieve their goals and ambitions, make better decisions, and understand when others are trying to influence their thinking. They can then take better charge of what they do in all parts of their lives - how they relate to others, and even what emotions they feel. They become better problem solvers. They use power more wisely. They become less subject to manipulation. They live a fuller, more happy and secure life. This session will lay the foundations for helping students take command of their lives through taking command of their minds. Participants in this session will receive and work through parts of  the new edition of 30 Days to Better Thinking and Better Living Through Critical Thinking by Drs. Linda Elder and Richard Paul.


 Critical Thinking & Socratic Questioning

With Richard Paul and Brian Barnes


Socratic questioning is disciplined questioning that can be used to pursue thought in many directions and for many purposes, including: to explore complex ideas, to get to the truth of things, to open up issues and problems, to uncover assumptions, to analyze concepts, to distinguish what we know from what we don’t know, and to follow out logical implications of thought. The key to distinguishing Socratic questioning from questioning per se is that Socratic questioning is systematic, disciplined, and deep, and usually focuses on founda­tional concepts, principles, theories, issues, or problems.

The art of Socratic questioning is intimately connected with critical thinking because the art of questioning is important to excellence of thought. What the word “Socratic” adds to the art of questioning is systematicity, depth, and an abiding interest in assessing the truth or plausibility of things. Critical thinkers not only ask questions, they ask deep, significant, unbiased questions.

Both critical thinking and Socratic questioning share a common end. Critical thinking provides the conceptual tools for understanding how the mind functions (in its pursuit of meaning and truth); and Socratic questioning employs those tools in framing questions essential to the pursuit of meaning and truth.

The workshop will include an introduction to the theory and practice of Socratic Questioning, through emphasis on the analysis and assessment of reasoning. Participants will be engaged in Socratic dialogue, and will gain introductory experience in Socratic questioning that, with practice, can lead to an increasingly richer understanding of the power inherent in disciplined questioning as a tool for teaching and learning.


We encourage you to come with fellow faculty or staff to enrich your experience -     see our group rates below...


Spring 2013 Workshops in Critical Thinking

Cost Per Person


1 Person

2-3 people

4-6 People

7 or More

Spring 2013 Critical Thinking Workshop 
(early registration)






1 Person

2-3 people

4-6 People

7 or More

Spring 2013 Critical Thinking Workshop





Event Has Ended! To Attend our 33rd Annual International Critical Thinking Conference in JulyClick Here.


(View our Event Cancellation Policy here.)  

   To read more about our presenters, please click here.                                               

   For hotel rate and reservation information, please click here.

    To view the color flyer, please click here.