Course

The Foundations of Critical Thinking for Learning and Everyday Life

This course will introduce you to the tools the best thinkers use and will exemplify the activities and practice you can use to emulate them. You will then have your destiny as a thinker in your own hands. The only thing that will determine whether you become a better and better thinker is your own willingness to practice. This course will introduce you to the tools of mind that will help you reason well through the problems and issues you face, whether in the classroom, in your personal life, or in your professional life. If you take these ideas seriously, and practice using them, you can take command of the thinking that will command your quality of life.

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23 Lessons

This course will introduce you to the tools the best thinkers use and will exemplify the activities and practice you can use to emulate them. You will then have your destiny as a thinker in your own hands. The only thing that will determine whether you become a better and better thinker is your own willingness to practice. This course will introduce you to the tools of mind that will help you reason well through the problems and issues you face, whether in the classroom, in your personal life, or in your professional life. If you take these ideas seriously, and practice using them, you can take command of the thinking that will command your quality of life.

By the end of this course you should be able to:

understand the importance of fairminded critical thinking in the cultivation of fairminded critical societies.
understand the parts of thinking and how these parts work together in reasoning.
understand the universal intellectual standards and their importance in human reasoning.
understand the barriers to critical thinking development and intervene to improve it.
articulate and exemplify the primary concepts in critical thinking and how they can be used as tools for understanding and improving human reasoning.
articulate understanding of the problem of media bias and propaganda as a barrier to critical thought in human societies.
understand ethical reasoning, show understanding of the differences between ethics and other modes of thought, including religion, social ideologies, politics, and the law.
demonstrate abilities in close reading and substantive writing
Your Instructor 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 50,000 educators at all levels. She has co-authored four books, including Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Learning and Your Life, Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Professional and Personal Life, and 30 Days to Better Thinking and Better Living. She has co-authored 24 Thinker’s Guides on critical thinking.

Resources and Syllabus for The Foundations of Critical Thinking for Learning and Everyday Life

Week One: Introduction to the course; introduction to the concept of critical thinking

Week Two: Introduction to Intellectual Standards

Week Four: Three Kinds of Thinkers; Introduction to Intellectual Virtues as Essential To Fair Minded

Week Five: Intellectual Virtues as Essential To Fair Minded Critical Thinking (continued)

Week Ten: Understanding Native Sociocentricity as a Fundamental Barrier to Critical Thinking (continued)

Week Twelve: The Elements of Thought (cont)

Week Fourteen: Where are You in the Stages of Critical Thinking Development?

Week Fifteen: Final Assessments and Self-Evaluation