Ole Miss Focuses On Critical Thinking

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Blue silhouette of a student wearing a mortarboard with data, symbols & words emerging from the brain

The Academic Innovations Group at the University of Mississippi hosted a Faculty Approaches to Critical Thinking Institute on Thursday, August 15th, 2019. The unit supports faculty in improving classroom teaching and learning. It also is responsible for fulfilling the goals of Think Forward, the 2019 Quality Enhancement Plan for the University, which targets critical thinking.

The recent Institute was attended by 100 faculty members.

Peter Facione Ph.D., Co-Founder of Insight Assessment, was the featured speaker at the Institute, presenting on Teaching for Critical Thinking.  The full day workshop addressed the biggest challenges to teaching for critical thinking. 

Discussion was stimulated by a series of questions such as what national and international data says about student critical thinking; what scholarship tells us about how to teach critical thinking; and how to teach students to use their critical thinking.

During his interactive presentation, Peter employed the methods that professors use to teach critical thinking.  In this way, the workshop was a demonstration of what works, with the participants actively engaged in using their own critical thinking.

The next day, Peter and Dr. Carol Gittens Ph.D., Researcher with Measured Reasons, met with leadership groups, faculty development specialists, and others to discuss teaching and assessing critical thinking in their specific institutional contexts.

About Peter A. Facione Ph.D and Carol Ann Gittens Ph.D

Peter and Carol Ann are co-authors of a highly successful college text book, THINK Critically, which is now in its third edition with Pearson Education.  It was one of a handful of books from various disciplines that has been selected to be included in Pearson’s new online series of college texts for 2019. 

They led the successful university strategic planning process at the University of Puget Sound, completed October 2018.  Carol Ann and Pete collaborated on a multi-year project with the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA, the 5000-person unit of the US Department of Defense that provides audit and financial advisory services to Department of Defense (DoD) and other federal entities) In March 2018, they presented a 3-day train-the-trainer workshop for DCAA leaders on infusing critical thinking into the operation of that large agency.

They have worked together as co-presenters, co-authors, and co-consultants for many years.

Accreditation and QEP Support

Over the years, colleges and universities from every SACS state have identified critical thinking and numeracy as a QEP learning goal. A large percentage have used Insight Assessment critical thinking instruments to gather annual pre-and-post test data. The majority of our SACS QEP clients use custom services to receive enhanced data analyses and reports expressly designed to fit their QEP projects. 

Contact us to learn more.

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