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Workshop Topic Detail

Teaching Critical Thinking in Pre-Collegiate English Courses


Many incoming community college students need remediation in English courses. This can be time consuming and lead instructors to believe that there isn’t enough time in the term to teach important thinking skills. This workshop provides participants with specific tools for teaching critical thinking skills in pre-college English courses. The facilitator provides proven methodologies to enhance critical thinking skills while teaching basic English writing and comprehension. By the end of the workshop, participants can better prepare students for transfer-level English courses and increase their critical thinking skills.

By the end of this workshop, participants know or be able to:

    • Help students improve their skills in recognizing and using evidence.
    • Learn argumentation structure as a foundational skill for critical thinking.
    • Help students build on argumentation skills to write well.
    • Learn to leverage critical thinking skills to improve student reading comprehension.

Plans for Audience Participation and Interaction:

Participants work on a number of exercises that can be used in class to enhance skills of proper evidence use, structured argumentation, structured writing, and reading comprehension.


Facilitator Photo

Dr. John Eigenauer is a professor of philosophy at Taft College. He holds a master’s degree in English, a master’s degree in humanities, and a doctorate in interdisciplinary studies from Syracuse University, where he was the recipient of the prestigious Syracuse University Fellowship. Dr. Eigenauer has taught philosophy, English, mathematics, computer science, physics, and Spanish. He has delivered workshops nationally and internationally on the pedagogy of critical thinking and published articles on critical thinking and rationality. His most recent article, “The Problem With the Problem of Human Rationality,” published in the International Journal of Educational Reform, was highlighted in Psychology Today. Other publications of Dr. Eigenauer’s have appeared in The Historian, The Harvard Theological Review, History of Intellectual Culture, Inquiry: Critical Thinking across the Disciplines, The Rational Alternative, Thinking Skills and Creativity, Eighteenth-Century Studies, The Huntington Library Quarterly, Innovation Abstracts, and The NISOD Papers.