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33rd International Conference

Thank you for joining us for...

The World's Longest Running Annual Conference on Critical Thinking
This event has concluded. 

The 33rd International Conference on 

Critical Thinking and Educational Reform 

Berkeley, CA 

 July 22-25, 2013 
Preconference July 20-21, 2013 

Together, the Center and Foundation for Critical Thinking have hosted critical thinking academies and conferences for almost 35 years. 

During that time we've played a key role in defining, structuring, assessing, improving and advancing the principles and best practices of fairminded critical thought in education, as well as in society. Our annual conference provides a unique opportunity for you to improve your understanding of critical thinking, as well as your ability to substantively foster it in the classroom and in all aspects of your work and life. 

The conference begins with three options for preconference sessions. The rest of the conference will consist of approximately 30 sessions offered over four days. When you register for the conference, you will choose your preconference sessions, and your sessions for days one, two, and four of the main conference.  On the third day of the conference you will choose from approximately 30 concurrent sessions. (The full concurrent session program will be available at the conference). Many of the sessions will be posted online in advance. 

Throughout our work we emphasize the importance of fostering a substantive conception of critical thinking. Such a conception not only highlights the qualities of the educated person, but also implies the proper design of the educational process. There are essential, minimal conditions for cultivating educated minds. These entail modes of instruction that foster development of the standards, abilities, and traits of the educated person.

All the traditional content areas of school may be - but typically are not - taught so as to conduce to those standards, abilities, and traits. For instance, when literature is substantively taught, it is taught as literary thinking. The major goal: to give students practice in thinking analytically and critically about literary texts. As a result, students learn not only how to read novels, plays, short stories, and poems with insight, understanding, and appreciation, but also how to formulate and analyze literary problems, reasoning from information in a literary text to plausible interpretations and judgments of appreciation (which they are able to explain and defend on reasonable grounds). When this is done effectively, students come to see the significance of literature, literary thinking, and imagination both in their own lives and in the life of culture and society. Literature becomes an important way to learn about human nature and the human condition as well as a lifelong source of insight and pleasure.

When students are taught using a substantive concept of education as the guide to the design of instruction, they learn to initiate, analyze, and evaluate their own thinking and the thinking of others (within all the content areas they study). Doing so, they come to act more reasonably and effectively in every part of life. They are able to do this because they have acquired intellectual tools and intellectual standards essential to sound reasoning and personal and professional judgment. Self-assessment becomes an integral part of their lives. They are able to master content in diverse disciplines. They become proficient readers, writers, speakers, and listeners. They use their learning to raise the quality of their lives and the lives of others. They become reasonable and fairminded persons capable of empathizing with views with which they disagree and disagreeing with views uncritically accepted by those around them. They are able to use their reasoning skills to contribute to their own emotional life, and to transform their desires and motivations accordingly. They come to think, feel, and act effectively and with integrity.

All conference sessions are designed to converge on basic critical thinking principles and to enrich a core concept of critical thinking with practical teaching and learning strategies. 

For a richer explanation of core critical thinking concepts, see the Thinker's Guide Library (Click Here).

Conference Presenters

Dr. Richard Paul 

Dr. Richard Paul is a distinguished leader in the international critical thinking movement. He is Director of Research at the Center for Critical Thinking, the Chair of the National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking, and author of over 200 articles and seven books on critical thinking. Dr. Paul has given hundreds of workshops on critical thinking and made a series of eight critical thinking video programs for PBS. His views on critical thinking have been canvassed in the New York Times, Education Week, The Chronicle of Higher Education, American Teacher, Leadership, and Newsweek.

Dr. Linda Elder

Dr. Linda Elder is an educational psychologist and a prominent authority on critical thinking. She is President of the Foundation for Critical Thinking and Executive Director of the Center for Critical Thinking. Dr. Elder has taught psychology and critical thinking at the college level, and has given presentations to more than 20,000 educators at all levels. She has coauthored four books and twenty thinker's guides on critical thinking. Her views have been canvassed in the Times Higher Education, the Christian Science Monitor, and on National Public Radio.

Dr. Gerald Nosich

Dr. Gerald Nosich is an authority on critical thinking, having given more than 150 national and international workshops on the subject. He has worked with the U.S. Department of Education on a project for the National Assessment of Higher Order Thinking skills, has served as the Assistant Director of the Center for Critical Thinking, and been featured as a Noted Scholar at the University of British Columbia. He is Professor of Philosophy at Buffalo State College in New York and the author of two books, including Learning to Think Things Through.

Rush Cosgrove

Rush Cosgrove is Historian for the Foundation for Critical Thinking and is engaged in research for a PhD at the University of Cambridge.  He holds Masters degrees from both the University of Oxford, New College and the University of Cambridge, Darwin College.  He has conducted research on critical thinking and the Oxford Tutorial, and is currently conducting research on the Paulian Framework for critical thinking as contextualized at a major U.S. research university. He conducts workshops in critical thinking for faculty and students, in English as well as Spanish.

Brian Barnes

Brian Barnes has taught critical thinking courses for seven years at the university level. He has earned grants from Hanover College, the James Randi Education Foundation, and the University of Louisville focused on developing critical thinking in everyday life. He holds a masters degree in Philosophy and is a PhD candidate at the University of Louisville. 



Participants choose one session for each time period...

(choose one):
Saturday & Sunday (July 20-21)

  • Internalizing the Foundations of Critical Thinking ... Richard Paul & Brian Barnes
  • Helping Students Improve Their Writing Through the Tools of Critical Thinking ... 
         Gerald Nosich

Conference Day One 
(choose one):
Monday (July 22)

  • Placing a Substantive Conception of Critical Thinking at the Heart of Teaching and Learning ... Rush Cosgrove & Brian Barnes
  • Teaching Students to Think Within a Field Or Discipline ... Gerald Nosich
  • For Administrators: Understanding the Long-Term Nature of Professional Development in Critical Thinking ... Linda Elder
  • Advanced Session: Dialogue with Richard Paul - Objections and Replies ... Richard Paul

Conference Day Two, Morning 
(choose one):

Tuesday (July 23)

  • Teaching Students Fundamental and Powerful Concepts ... Gerald Nosich
  • Critical Thinking and the Common Core State Standards ... Brian Barnes
  • Helping Students Come to Terms With Their Own Self-Defeating Attitudes and Behavior ... Linda Elder and Rush Cosgrove
  • Dialogue with Richard Paul on the Importance of Intellectual Virtues in Teaching and Learning ... Richard Paul
     Bertrand Russell Distinguished
             Scholars Lecture with
              Dr. Elizabeth Loftus… 
              ALL ARE INVITED !!!

Conference Day Two, Afternoon
(choose one):

Tuesday (July 23)

  • Using the Tools of Critical Thinking to Teach Students How to Study and Learn ... Gerald Nosich
  • Emancipating the Mind Through Critical Thinking ... Linda Elder
  • How to Prove You are Fostering Critical Thinking in your Instruction: Designing Your Own Research Project ... Rush Cosgrove
  • From the Trenches: Classroom Strategies for Equipping Students to Think Critically ... Laura Ramey & Gary Meegan 

Conference Day Three 
Wednesday (July 24) 

      Bertrand Russell Distinguished
              Scholars Lecture with
               Dr. Elizabeth Loftus…
               ALL ARE INVITED !!!
  • Concurrent sessions - To be announced a few weeks prior to the conference. 

    Concurrent sessions are one hour in length. Most sessions are conducted by faculty and administrators who have been working with critical thinking concepts and principles for several years, bringing critical thinking into the individual classroom or across the curriculum. 

Conference Day Four 
Thursday morning (July 25) 

  • Fostering Critical Thinking Through Close Reading ... Rush Cosgrove
  • Designing Instruction so That Students Learn to Think Things Through ... Gerald Nosich
  • Reaching for Self-Command and Self-Actualization Through Critical Thinking ... Linda Elder
  • Dialogue With Richard Paul on the Possibility of Cultivating Fairminded Critical Societies ... Richard Paul and Brian Barnes

All conference delegates are invited to attend …

The Bertrand Russell Distinguished Scholars Critical Thinking Conversation

This new feature of the conference highlights the work and thinking of distinguished thinkers within subjects, fields, disciplines, or about specific topics or issues. 
This year's scholar is Elzabeth Loftus. All conference participants are invited to these lectures.

Dr. Elizabeth Loftus

Elizabeth Loftus is Distinguished Professor at the University of California, Irvine.  She holds faculty positions in three departments (Psychology & Social Behavior; Criminology, Law & Society;  Cognitive Sciences), and in the School of Law.  Since receiving her Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University,  she has published twenty-two books (including the award winning Eyewitness Testimony) and 500 scientific articles.  Loftus's research of the last 30 years has focused on the malleability of human memory.  She has been recognized for this research with six honorary doctorates (from universities in the U.S., Norway, the Netherlands, Israel, and Britain), and election to the National Academy of Sciences.  She is past president of the Association for Psychological Science.  Loftus has been recognized in the Review of General Psychology as one of the 100 most eminent psychologists of the 20th century.

Academic Credit for the Conference and Preconference available through Sonoma State University

(Click Here to Learn More)

Conference Rates
33rd International Conference on Critical Thinking
Cost Per Person
EVENT OPTIONS:  If Paid Between Dec 01, 2012 and June 21, 20131 Person2-3 people4-6 People7 or More
33rd International Conference (only) - early registration$480.00$455.00$430.00$345.00
33rd International Conference with Preconference - early registration$720.00$695.00$670.00$585.00
EVENT OPTIONS:  If Paid After June 21, 2013 and Before July 22, 20131 Person2-3 people4-6 People7 or More
33rd International Conference (Only)$510.00$485.00$460.00$375.00
33rd International Conference with Preconference$760.00$735.00$710.00$625.00
EVENT OPTIONS:  If Paid After Dec 01, 2012 and Before July 20, 20131 Person2-3 people4-6 People7 or More
33rd International - Preconference Only$280.00$280.00$280.00$280.00



Video Clips From Our Previous Conferences