The goal of this course is to encourage techniques that increase knowledge and application of a systematic process for exploring issues that take the student beyond an unexamined point of view.

Course Competencies

  • Problem Identification and Clarification: The graduate analyzes open-ended problems by learning about the problem and evaluating the accuracy and relevance of different perspectives on the problem.
  • Planning and Information Gathering: The graduate evaluates different sources representing a range of perspectives on a problem in order to weigh the implications and consequences of different solutions to the problem.
  • Assumptions and Values: The graduate identifies internal and external biases and assumptions related to a problem and then evaluates the influence and validity of these biases and assumptions.
  • Analysis and Interpretation of Information/Data: The graduate synthesizes information to understand a problem’s complexities and potential solutions, and then evaluates the reasoning and evidence in support of these different solutions.
  • Reaching Well-Founded Conclusions: The graduate logically brings together information to arrive at a viable solution to a problem, and then clearly and accurately communicates the results.
  • Identifying the Role of Critical Thinking in the Disciplines and Professions: The graduate recognizes the value of critical thinking in identifying and understanding the underlying structures of disciplines and professions.

Course Textbooks

Paul, R. & Elder, L. (2006). Critical thinking: Tools for taking charge of your learning and your life (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle, NJ: Pearson-Prentice Hall. ISBN 0131149628.

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