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Workshop Topic Detail

Teaching Critical Thinking and Rationality in Science and Math Courses


This workshop provides participants with concrete tools for teaching rationality and critical thinking skills in science and mathematics courses. By the end of the workshop, participants are able to help students be more rational, deploy scientific and mathematical thinking more consistently, and recognize reasoning errors that can be corrected with scientific and mathematical reasoning. Instructors will understand rationality, the concept of mindware, detect gaps in mindware, and recognize contaminated mindware.

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

    • Help students improve their skills with probabilistic and statistical reasoning.
    • Learn methods that enhance scientific reasoning, evidence evaluation, hypothesis formation and testing, and experimental design.
    • Learn how the concept of "mindware" applies to all disciplines in science and math and how to enhance student rationality through mindware.
    • Learn how to apply skills of argumentation to science and mathematics courses.

Plans for Audience Participation and Interaction:

Participants complete exercises designed to enhance critical thinking and rationality. These exercises range across disciplines and can be applied to a variety of undergraduate courses.


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.