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Teaching Critical Thinking in Pre-College English Courses

This workshop consists of 2 interactive modules offered via Zoom at 10:00 am-12:15 pm Central Time (CT) on January 21, 2022, and 10:00 am-12:15 pm Central Time (CT) on January 28, 2022. Participants earn a digital badge and certificate upon completing both modules and a post-workshop evaluation.

Workshop Description

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.

Key topics covered during the workshop include: 

  1. Critical thinking, remediation, and open-mindedness.
  2. Critical thinking as a foundation for college skills.
  3. Recognizing and using evidence.
    1. What is a fact?
    2. How is a fact different from an opinion?
    3. How should facts guide opinions?
    4. Emotions, opinions, and facts.
    5. Exercises to identify facts.
  4. The structure of an argument.
    1. Introduction.
    2. Basic writing exercises for students.
  5. Argument creation/formation.
    1. Levels of difficulty in argument creation.
  6. Moving from arguments to writing.
    1. Levels of difficulty in writing about arguments.
    2. Argumentation and rough drafts.
  7. Improving reading skills: Argument analysis.
    1. Understanding an author’s argument.
    2. Research, using multiple articles, and college-level writing.

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


Registrants will be provided with the login credentials via email prior to the start of the event.


Registration Type
Registration Fee

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Cancellation and refund requests must be received in writing prior to January 14, 2022. A refund of the workshop fee, minus a $25 administrative fee, will be given for cancellations received by January 14, 2022. Refunds will not be given after January 14, 2022 or for no-shows. Registrants who have an outstanding balance and do not attend the workshop are responsible for the $25 administrative fee. Substitutions are accepted at any time prior to the workshop by submitting a written request to Kelley Berley. The individual requesting the transfer is responsible for all financial obligations (any balance due) associated with the transfer.

Consent to Use of Photographic Images

By registering for one or more of these modules, you consent to being recorded for any purpose whatsoever, and you release NISOD and The University of Texas at Austin and their officers and representatives from any liability for infringement of any rights, and you expressively authorize and permit the use of your name, voice, and likeness and all reproductions thereof, for any purpose whatsoever, in perpetuity in any media now known or hereafter devised, without limitation and without compensation.

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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