- Steans Center
- Student Records
- Academic Calendar
- Campus Connection
DePaul Teaching & Learning Blogs
Designing Assignments for Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is a catchall phrase used to describe the ability of students to think for themselves, to reason well, and to approach problems and issues in a systematic and logical manner. The following resources offer suggestions for designing assignments that strengthen critical thinking.
- The University of Texas at Austin has created a site called Teacher to Teacher, which is devoted to exploring how critical thinking can be taught in the classroom
- Tim van Gelder from the University of Melbourne offers some guidelines for teaching critical thinking based on key ideas from cognitive science in his article Teaching critical thinking: Some lessons from cognitive science.
- The IDEA Center at Kansas State University offers information on designing assignments and learning environments that enhance thinking skills.
Stephen Brookfield on Critical and Creative Thinking
The 2012 Fall Forum on Teaching and Learning featured a keynote presentation by the noted expert on adult education, Stephen Brookfield, who is the John Ireland Endowed Chair at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. You can watch the keynote below.
TLA Handouts on Teaching for Critical Thinking:
- Definitions of critical thinking
- Argument mapping allows students to see the underlying structure of an argument.
- Creating cognitive dissonance to help students question their pre-existing or intuitive ideas.
- Scaffolding assignments so that they gradually increase in cognitive complexity.
- Teaching for transfer to help students understand their critical thinking process.
- Critical thinking Internet resources and selected bibliography.
Bean, J.C. (2001). Engaging ideas: The professor's guide to integrating writing, critical thinking, and active learning in the classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Brookfield, Stephen. (2011). Teaching for Critical Thinking: Tools and Techniques to Help Students Question Their Assumptions. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.