THINK!. Critical Thinking In Every Classroom New Faculty Orientation August 16, 2008. The Age of the Acronym. SACS: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools QEP: Quality Enhancement Plan VCCS: Virginia Community College System CCTST: California Critical Thinking Skills Test
Critical Thinking In Every Classroom
New Faculty Orientation
August 16, 2008
SACS: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
QEP: Quality Enhancement Plan
VCCS: Virginia Community College System
CCTST: California Critical Thinking Skills Test
CCSSE: Community College Survey ofStudent Engagement
Because of results from the 2006 CCTST and the 2005 CCSSE survey, along with discussions among faculty and staff, we chose CRITICAL THINKING (CT) as the focus of our QEP.
The purpose of the QEP is to create a culture of critical thinking which permeates all aspects of the College community, with an outcome of improved critical thinking skills in our students.
What is critical thinking?
Well, it’s hard to define, and some would say that it doesn’t even exist! (see, for example, Willingham, 2007).
Others say it’s just educational jargon for what we used to call thinking…
Explaining, analyzing, and synthesizing what we see, hear, and read
Using creativity to discover multiple solutions and diverse approaches to issues
Seeing connections and patterns
Evaluating claims and evidence to draw reasonable conclusions
Finding relevant information to address tasks and problems
Justifying conclusions and solutions
Reflecting on how we think and learn.
Applying concepts to real-world problems
However it is defined, over 90% of faculty across the country today argue that critical thinking is the main purpose of undergraduate education. (Derek Bok, President Emeritus, Harvard)
1. Foster awareness and understanding of critical thinking among College employees in all disciplines and units.
2. Enhance critical thinking skills in all LFCC degree, certificate, and workforce development programs.
3. Encourage critical thinking practice outside the classroom.
SLO:Student Learning Outcome
CCS: Course Content Summary
CAG:Course Assessment Guide
For the QEP, we have selected the six VCCS critical thinking SLOs as our learning outcomes for assessment. EVERY course at LFCC must include one of these CT SLOs.
If each course lists a CT SLO on the CCS,
Each course must include a CT SLO on the syllabus, AND
Each course must include assignments and assessments based on the CT SLO.
Degree graduates will demonstrate the ability to:
2.1 Discriminate among degrees of credibility, accuracy, and reliability of inferences drawn from given data
2.2 Recognize parallels, assumptions, or presuppositions in any given source of information
2.3 Evaluate the strengths and relevance of arguments on a particular question or issue
2.4 Weigh evidence and decide if generalizations or conclusions based on the given data are warranted
2.5 Determine whether certain conclusions or consequences are supported by the information provided.
2.6 Use problem solving skills.
KNOW the CT SLO for the course(s) they teach,
IDENTIFY and SCHEDULE assignments that support that SLO with practice and feedback,
ASSESS the SLO, using the faculty designed instrument/measurement (for courses being assessed in fall 2008), and
SHARE experiences, successes, struggles, tips, techniques, questions, and insights with other faculty.
We are asking that you
* Make your classroom an on-going experiment
* Pay attention to results from CAGs for courses you are teaching
* Assess your own teaching in relation to critical thinking SLOs
What am I doing in my classes?
At what stage of Bloom’s taxonomy are…
* My class discussion questions?
* My homework assignments?
* My project and research assignments?
* My test questions?
* My PowerPoint presentations?
Can I “QEP” one of these to enhance critical thinking?
The Ox pictures…
(The pictures shown are those of the Kyoto woodblock artist Tomikichiro Tokuriki. They are taken from Paul Reps, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, Charles E. Tuttle Co., Rutland, Vermont and Tokyo. Internet reference: http://www.jaysquare.com/ljohnson/ox-herding.html)
Seeking The Ox
Professor of English/ESL
Lord Fairfax Community College