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Getting Specific about Critical Thinking

Our guest will be Justin K. Rademaekers, who will join our conversation by webcam to discuss his recent WAC Journal article "Getting Specific about Critical Thinking: Implications for Writing Across the Curriculum." Rademaekers writes, "The development of students’ critical thinking abilities has long been an omnipresent concept in composition theory, in writing pedagogy, and, indeed, in many of our writing classrooms. Perhaps some readers have even listed critical thinking as a learning outcome on one of your course syllabi? As a writing across the curriculum (WAC) director and composition instructor at my own institution, I’ve found that the phrase “critical thinking” has a great deal of import across the curriculum, more so than other phrases I’ve tried to share with faculty teaching writing across the curriculum— phrases like genre awareness, knowledge transfer, or even . . . rhetoric. In fact—writing aside—faculty, staff, and administrators in higher education might be hard-pressed to find a concept more widely shared and agreed upon across the curriculum than the expectation that students should develop critical and analytical thinking skills during their pursuit of a higher education. Yet, despite the prominence of critical thinking in composition courses and higher education curricula, a widely shared and agreed upon definition of this term proves elusive, which complicates its import into WAC conversations." His article, which presents findings from an interview-based study of faculty across the academic spectrum, invites us to consider whether there is such a thing as generic, transferable thinking skills--or if our discipline-oriented writing courses can best address "critical thinking" as a discipline-specific practice. Participants are asked to read the article in advance and bring questions and related experiences to share. (Access the article here).  Friedl Bldg 216, East Campus. Please register here.

Thursday, December 5, 2019
12:00pm - 1:00pm
East Campus
Teaching and Learning  

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