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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.

Topics covered include:

  • Brain structure and rational and irrational processes
  • The concept of rationality
  • The science of rationality
  • Rationality and intelligence
  • The concept of mindware (Gaps/Contamination)
  • Probabilistic and statistical reasoning
  • Scientific reasoning
  • Experimental design
  • Anti-scientific attitudes
  • Conspiracy beliefs
  • Fundamental computational biases
  • Dysfunctional personal beliefs
  • The Theory of Evolution
  • The arrow of science and mythological worldviews
  • Science, mathematics, and opinion

Participants can claim a digital badge and certificate upon completing the workshop and a post-workshop survey.

About the Facilitator

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 ReviewHistory of Intellectual Culture, Inquiry: Critical Thinking across the Disciplines, The Rational Alternative, Thinking Skills and Creativity, Eighteenth-Century Studies, The Huntington Library QuarterlyInnovation Abstracts, and The NISOD Papers.

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