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Workshop Topic Detail

Teaching Critical Thinking in Humanities and Social Sciences Courses


This workshop provides participants with concrete tools for teaching critical thinking skills while covering required course content. By the end of the workshop, participants are able to create lesson plans that enhance critical thinking skills based on content from any discipline in the humanities or social sciences. Participants also learn how these skills can be easily and accurately measured.

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

    • Understand the fundamentals of the human brain regarding dispositions toward critical thought, bias, use of evidence, and heuristic thinking.
    • Learn precise pedagogical methods to help students think critically through structured argumentation while covering course (or agnostic) content.
    • Learn precise pedagogical methods to help students deeply understand readings through best practices in critical thinking.
    • Learn precise pedagogical methods to help students write quality papers by using the foundational skills of critical thinking.

Plans for Audience Participation and Interaction:

Participants work on exercises designed to help students progress through increasingly advanced skill levels. These skills are founded in best practices from the field of critical thinking and can be applied to a variety of courses such as English language, literature, writing, journalism, speech, psychology, sociology, general humanities, college skill building, and others.


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.