Translate this page from English...

*Machine translated pages not guaranteed for accuracy.

Click Here for our professional translations.

Print Page Change Text Size: T T T

43rd Conference Guest Presentation Descriptions

Guest Presentation Descriptions
for the
43rd Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking

Pre-Conference: July 23, 2023
Main Conference: July 24 - July 28, 2023

List of Guest Presentations

Guest Presentation Descriptions

Using Reflective Practice to Enhance Critical Thinking in Online Education

Heather Smigowski
U.S. Army War College - Department of Distance Education
Carlisle, PA

Live Q&A: Monday, July 31 at 1:00 p.m. EDT

Several senior leader competencies receive different emphasis throughout a career in the military, except the competency of reflection (often related as self-awareness). Yet, the practice of deliberate, critical reflection is a skill used by senior leaders to process information, improve decision-making, and effectively manage organizational change. In an effort to bring this critical competency to the forefront for senior military officers, the U.S. Army War College Distance Education Program has developed a series of elective offerings which includes reflective practice to enhance the learning of online students. Initial results identify that the inclusion of deliberate, reflective practice brings a greater actionable change, demonstrated through increased awareness and situational judgment applied to case studies. Participants will receive several examples of how to include the use of reflective practice within online education programs.

The Challenges for Critical Thinking in a Postmodernist Time

Herman van Niekerk
Associate Dean
University of Phoenix - College of Doctoral Studies
Phoenix, AZ

Live Q&A: Sunday, July 30 at 10:00 a.m. EDT

Critical Thinking has been shaped through the ages by the developments in Western Intellectual thought. However, in a time of Post Modernity which opposes Rationalism and emphasizes and reduces thinking to a state of relativity, Critical Thinking is facing serious challenges. The purpose of the presentation is to place Critical Thinking in the context of developments in Epistemology and how language is (mis)used in a postmodernist time to achieve postmodernist objectives. To remain true to the core principles of critical thinking one needs to remain vigilant about postmodernist attempts that undermine the core principles of Critical Thinking. Various examples from daily life will be provided.

Ignorance and Critical Thinking: How to Estimate What We Know and What We Don't Know in Order to Educate Critically?

Paloma Castillo Labrada
PhD Student
Teaching Assistant
Complutense University of Madrid
Madrid, Spain

David Luque Mengíbar
Assistant Professor
Complutense University of Madrid
Madrid, Spain

Contributing Author:

Gonzalo Jover Olmeda
Complutense University of Madrid
Madrid, Spain

Why is ignorance, instead of being a vice, a central virtue in critical thinking education? In our webinar we will invite attendees to reflect on this idea. We think that we need to know everything in order to eradicate ignorance, but what if it were the other way around? What if we had to stoke ignorance by recognizing that it would be neither possible nor desirable to 'know everything'? This point underlies the deep philosophical and educational reflection that our conference aims to make on how to estimate what we know and what we do not know in order to educate critically.

We will articulate the presentation in two different parts that will lead to a debate with the people attending the webinar. On the one hand, we will analyze the relationship between ignorance and critical thinking. For this, we will confront aspects such as the following: the commitment to the search for truth versus the 'domination' of truth, the depth of thinking versus 'collecting', the pedagogy of the question versus the pedagogy of the answer... Based on the above, we will critically delve into 'supposed' vices and virtues that are not what they seem: guesswork (either you know it or you don't? ); irrelevance (does it all make sense?); silence (are doubts silenced or must they be listened to?); excellence (is it certainly a good thing?). On the other hand, the discussion between both concepts will also be manifested with some of the research results on critical thinking, citizenship and social networks of the CritiRed research project.

In short, our webinar will raise several questions related to the educational ideal of rationality that we need in the 21st century, either to answer them or to generate new ones. All the above will be done from the refusal of what today seems to have become a slogan: "the world already knows everything, and has only to tell it to its children".

A Clear Foundation: Critical Thinking in the Teaching of Literature

Linda Tym
Associate Professor of English
Oakwood University
Huntsville, Alabama

Live Q&A: Thursday, August 3rd at 1:00 p.m. EDT

A significant challenge in the field of literary study is its breadth of scope and scale. In other words, because the study of literature includes diverse forms of writing (poetry, prose, and drama) that are set within specific historical contexts, it requires an understanding of a wide variety of concepts, perspectives, and consequences. Too often, teachers do not have a clear method for teaching literature and the discipline seems illogical and insignificant to students.

To address this problem, I will consider this key question in my paper: In what ways and to what extent is critical thinking relevant to the teaching of literature?

Using key information from “The Art of Redesigning Instruction” in Critical Thinking: What Every Person Needs to Survive in a Rapidly Changing World and other relevant critical thinking research, I will argue that critical thinking is necessary not only to the development of students’ understanding of the “broad principles,” “skilled moves,” and “appropriate standards” in literary studies, but also to students’ ability to assess implications and consequences in their personal and societal contexts clearly and accurately (Paul 324).

Critical Thinking for Managers

Eileen Taylor
Professor of Accounting
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, North Carolina

Live Q&A: Tuesday, August 1 at 1:00 p.m. EDT

In this presentation, I will share an outline of my MBA critical thinking course, which I've developed and taught over the past 8 years. The course, which is Quality Matters certified for online learners, covers the eight elements and nine standards in a series of 6 assignments. I use current business-related examples, Wall Street Journal articles and editorials, and TED Talks to give students practice analyzing and evaluating from a business, as well as a social impact perspective. I will provide a sample assignment, solution, and rubric to attendees. I will also provide a link to my online course, which is published and may be used as a resource for instructional support.

Think Deeply and See Far: Fostering Doctoral Students' Disciplinary and Interdisciplinary Thinking Abilities Through a Critical Thinking Approach

Yanning Dong
Tsinghua University
Beijing, China

Disciplinary and interdisciplinary thinking is both the goal and product of critical thinking. While disciplinary thinking often involves having a deep understanding of the fundamental concepts, theories, and methodologies of a specific discipline and being able to apply them to solve problems within that field, interdisciplinary thinking, on the other hand, often involves integrating knowledge and methods from multiple disciplines to address complex problems that require a broader perspective (Repko, 2017). Having strong disciplinary and interdisciplinary thinking abilities is crucial for doctoral students who are expected to conduct innovative research, collaborate with colleagues from different fields, and develop creative solutions to real-world problems; however, extensive knowledge about a subject area does not necessarily translate to these abilities. Therefore, carefully designed curricula are needed to promote deep thinking and learning among doctoral students.

In this study, a critical thinking approach was developed for an English for academic communication course that involved 71 doctoral students from various disciplinary backgrounds, drawing on Nosich’s (2012) theories of fundamental and powerful concepts and the central question. With this approach, the students were required to identify a fundamental and powerful concept and a central question in their area of study and then explain the concept and question through a 5-minute presentation. When explaining the concept, students were required to follow the SEEI model (Nosich, 2012), which allowed them to state, elaborate, exemplify, and illustrate the concept in a way that was clear and easily understandable to their peers who have different disciplinary backgrounds. Peer feedback and self-reflection were also involved in the process to promote students to review what they have learned from both their own perspectives and their peers’ perspectives.

The effectiveness of this approach was investigated through analyses of students' reflections and feedback, course evaluation, as well as teacher observation and reflection. This presentation will report on the preliminary findings of the study and discuss the practical implications of the approach. By sharing insights into how to support doctoral students in thinking deeply and seeing far, this research aims to contribute to the ongoing efforts to improve academic communication and enhance critical thinking abilities in higher education.

Critical Thinking and the College Composition Textbook and Classroom Application: The Engaging Introductory Discussion

Patti Parsons
Professor of English
Palm Beach State College
Lake Worth, FL

The presentation will introduce the Decision Quality model of decision-making, including how this professional framework that evolved out of work at Stanford University has been applied with high school students in programs developed by Decision Education Foundation(DEF). DEF has demonstrated student improvements in GPA and units earned as well as Decision Making Competence, a measure associated with better life outcomes. We have built materials that are accessible, interesting and useful for high school age students that also develop social emotional learning, critical thinking and creativity. Training educators to deliver Decision Skills to youth has also shown benefits to their personal and professional lives.

For Decision Education Foundation, Critical Thinking is very much aligned with the  Paul – Elder model of the Foundation for Critical Thinking. The Decision Chain (DQ model) includes Useful Information, where uncertainty, and probability are combined through Sound Reasoning and Clear Values to identify the Creative Alternative that gets you the most of what you want, given what you can know (at the time of the decision). The Elements of Thought topics and intellectual standards are taught throughout our work, for example the difference between precision and accuracy, or the idea/link of a Helpful Frame, which is defined by the purpose, perspective and scope of the decision – very much the combination of point of view and question at issue. By representing the six essential elements of a decision as a chain, we highlight how a decision (like an argument) is no stronger than the weakest link. It’s a practical, relevant and important application of critical thinking and, it moves to action/commitment that leads to changes in lives.

Teaching Critical Thinking in U.S. History: Evaluating Sources, Cause and Effect, and Our Own Confirmation Bias

Kevin O’Reilly
History Teacher
Beverly, MA

Live Q&A: Saturday, July 29 at 1:00 p.m. EDT

The purpose of the presentation is to demonstrate how to infuse critical thinking strategies into history class. The presenter taught history for 40 years and has written 29 books on critical thinking and decision making in history. Handouts from his upcoming series of books on critical thinking in U.S. History will be included for participants. We will focus on how to teach two specific skills (evaluating sources in the online environment, and analyzing causal claims) and one specific attitude (recognizing confirmation bias).

Critical Thinking in Communities of Inquiry

Michael Parker
Newington College

Stanmore, Australia

Britta Jensen
Newington College - Centre for Critical Thinking and Ethics

Stanmore, Australia

Jeremy Hall
Newington College - Centre for Critical Thinking and Ethics

Stanmore, Australia

Live Q&A: Sunday, July 30 at 5:00 p.m. EDT

Located in Sydney, Australia, Newington College is a multi-campus, independent primary and secondary day and boarding school. In January 2022, we launched the Centre for Critical Thinking and Ethics. Through the Centre, we are spearheading a school wide education process in which critical thinking moves are firstly taught in a detached way in particular classes and then systematically embedded through the core classes of English, Maths, History and elsewhere using the ‘Community of Inquiry’ Model. To do this, we have equipped our teaching staff to plan for, teach, and lead reflection on students’ thinking using the thinking tools articulated in Cam (2006) and the classroom strategies and activities from the Philosophy in Schools pedagogical tradition. This combination of explicitly explaining the techniques and then having them reinforced in other classes is a unique and powerful model. In this presentation we outline both the motivation for our school-wide strategic initiative in Critical Thinking and the successes achieved by our Centre in the first year. 

Complementary Medicine in the Classroom: Is it Science?

Frank Trocco
Associate Professor in Social Studies of Science
Lesley University
Cambridge, MA

Live Q&A: Saturday, July 29 at 11:00 a.m. EDT

My presentation will provide a strategy for teaching complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in the classroom, a subject typically critiqued as unconventional and non-scientific. I demonstrate how students can enhance their critically reflective skills by examining polarizing and controversial medical topics, which are often considered by conventional doctors and researchers to be on the fringes of credible western medicine. The students perform hands-on CAM experiments that can easily be incorporated in the classroom. It demonstrates how, by using an inquiry-based constructivist pedagogy, examining controversial and sometimes pseudoscientific ideas deepens learning.

Promoting Students’ Critical Thinking Skills in Online Learning in Higher Education: From Teachers’ Perspectives

Fatiha Bazouche
2nd year Ph.D. student in Instructional Technology - Ohio State University
Assistant Teacher - Ohio University
ELA Teacher - Zenith High School

Columbus, OH

Live Q&A: Tuesday, August 1st at 8:00 a.m. EDT

Critical thinking is an important aspect of modern education that should be developed (Wilson & Narasuman, 2020) where information is in abundance and changes are rapid.  Critical thinking skills (CTS) are widely recognized as an essential element in the modern educational system and all educators need to implement effective teaching and learning approaches to help students develop and strengthen their thinking skills (Moust et al., 2019)

This study explores the perspectives of teachers on promoting Critical Thinking Skills (CTS) in an online course at Patton College, Ohio University. With the growing use of online learning in higher education, it is important to understand how teachers can promote critical thinking skills in this context. The paper highlights the strategies that teachers can use to promote CTS, including creating a supportive and collaborative learning environment, providing opportunities for reflection and feedback, designing challenging and relevant learning activities, using questioning and inquiry-based approaches, and encouraging students to use metacognitive strategies. The study employs a qualitative research approach. It is phonological research and in case study research design.  It would allow for a detailed exploration of the specific context and experiences of the participant (Teacher – educational program) and provide a rich and detailed understanding of his perceptions with pedagogical strategies. Additionally, this would allow for a comprehensive understanding for example of why in the EDCT (educational and Computer Technology) course students' critical thinking skills are developed.  How the instructor is successful in promoting undergraduate and graduate students' CTS in EDCT (Educational and Computer Technology) courses. Data is collected through interviews, observation, and individual discussion Via Teams. Qualitative data is analyzed through thematic analysis and MAXQDA. This study suggests that an online EDCT course aiming to promote critical thinking reduces students’ resistance offering both informal and formal interactive opportunities to answer questions involving higher-order thinking skills.

Overall, the paper provides insights into how teachers can promote critical thinking skills in online learning in higher education and contribute to the development of students' 21st-century skills.

Assessing the Impact of a Critical Thinking Intervention Program Based on the Paul-Elder Framework on Student Teachers of Vadodara City, Gujarat

Vaibhavi Gawarikar
Assistant Professor
Navrachana University, School of Liberal Studies and Education
Gujarat, India

I think the most important idea that I would like to get across is that behavior is a product of thinking. The problems that we see around us today could be addressed by improving the way we think about concepts, issues, problems and tasks. The powerful Paul Elder framework can help identify problems in the thinking process and can support to offer a process to an informed idea. When I completed my research in the above mentioned idea, I found that the framework brings an impact on various domains of life of the student teacher. The impact is not only seen in improvement of academic scores but various other variables like the emotion regulation, reflective abilities and even as little as responding and not reacting to situations across.

How to Do Careful Argument Analysis

Bradley Bowen
Contributing Author
The Secular Frontier
Colorado Springs, CO

Careful argument evaluation is the heart and soul of critical thinking. But one cannot do a careful job of evaluating an argument unless one first has a clear understanding of the argument one is trying to evaluate.  Thus, careful argument analysis is essential to critical thinking.  In order to be a critical thinker one must develop the knowledge, skills, abilities, and desire to carefully analyze and clarify arguments. In this session, I will review some basic steps and principles of careful argument analysis, and I will walk through several examples to demonstrate the application of those steps and principles.

The Need for Critical Thinking at the Nexus of Healthcare: Accuracy in Diagnosis

Michael N. Liebman
Managing Director
IPQ Analytics, LLC
Kennett Square, PA

Live Q&A: Saturday, July 29 at 12:00 p.m. EDT

Clinical diagnosis sits at the nexus of healthcare, connecting patient care/disease management, drug and diagnostic development and payer reimbursement, yet accuracy in diagnosis remains elusive.  Misdiagnosis impacts approximately 12,000,000 patients annually in the US, causing 40,000-80,000 deaths and costing the US economy approximately $750 B annually.  The are numerous causes for this, ranging from patient pressure to justification for reimbursement for testing and treatment, but a critical component is lack of application of critical thinking to understanding and evaluating disease, itself.  Disease is a process, not a state, and requires re-evaluation of how we might apply existing (and new) technologies to address those critical questions that are not being adequately asked because of the underlying complexity that exists in real world biology.  Clinical guidelines and risk scores attempt to facilitate, i.e simplify, decision-making in diagnosis and treatment but are not recognizing the complexity that comprises a real world patient, that represents the actual disease process and factors that affect it, nor the influences affecting the practice of medicine.  Application of critical thinking will be presented both as a generalizable approach and its application in several disease areas, e.g. multiple sclerosis, and infant/maternal morbidity and mortality.

Mastering Critical Thinking for Enhanced Decision-Making and Life Success: An Introduction to Heuristic Supervention Theory (HST)

John Balla
Doctoral Student in Organizational Leadership
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Chicago, IL

The presentation aims to introduce Heuristic Supervention Theory (HST) as a simple and easy-to-understand way of teaching critical thinking skills to leaders, educators, or anyone who wants to make better decisions, achieve their goals, and optimize their well-being. HST combines two theories: Dual Process Theory (DPT), which is the idea that people have two different systems of thinking (fast and slow), and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), which is a way of helping people change the way they think about things to improve their decision-making outcomes. (See diagram below.)

The presentation will cover

  • Theoretical underpinnings of HST and its emergence (see diagram below)
  • Step-by-step walkthrough of how HST works (real-world examples)
  • Practical benefits and scalability considerations
  • Limitations and ethical concerns
  • Future applications, including artificial intelligence (AI), and how it can be applied to groups and teams.

Critical Thinking Process in View of the Multiple Conceptualizations of Critical Thinking

Nasim Gheshlaghi
MSc. in Endodontics
PhD of Medical Education
Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences
Tehram, Iran

During my early studies of critical thinking definition, there was a multitude of concepts, sometimes contradictory, in the related literature. As a medical educator, I was confronted with many confusions and ambiguities on how to lead the students through the process of critical thinking. The process of critical thinking, in some of the texts, was mainly defined as a fixed, inflexible and skill-based procedure which is based on checklist. Whereas, in the other texts, the essential role of the dispositions toward critical thinking, the intellectual standards and criteria of critical thinking, the context in which the critical thinking takes place, individual's creativity, as well as her/his metacognition over the thinking process, social construction of meaning, caring to others, and seeking problems through challenging the systems, had been emphasized. In order to address these disagreements, I, along with my colleagues in the field of medical education, aimed to clarify that how these multiple perceptions of critical thinking are seen in its process. For this purpose, the literatures in the field of critical thinking were investigated. Based on the results of our study, multiple interpretations of critical thinking concept have been emanated, depending on the school of thoughts, discipline and the context in which critical thinking occurs. In view of this multiplicity, for me, the critical thinking process is defined as a process in response to the problem, which employs an array of thinking skills. Furthermore, it is based on intellectual criteria, propulsed by one's mental habits and attitudinal dispositions, depended on the context, under the supervision of metacognition, and influenced by one's creativity and emotions. Critical thinking process does not necessarily lead to a specific response. Repetition of some steps and the round-trip between different stages, socially construction of meaning, flexibility and discourse-oriented ness during the process, are also taken into consideration, in this regard.

Integration of this variability into the CT process, which provide conceptual richness and productivity, could be beneficial for educators to develop strong CT in learners. Accordingly, in this presentation, multiple steps to conduct the CT process, in view of incorporation of different conceptions of CT into it, will be outlined.