Bethel College
Quality Enhancement Plan
Critical Thinking Initiative


Every year I have run workshops for faculty on techniques and strategies for teaching critical thinking. Handouts and presentations from these sessions are posted on this site both for those who were unable to attend and also for anyone who wants an extra copy. Please note that the documents provided here were produced for use during a workshop, and were never intended to stand alone. All files are in Adobe Acrobat pdf format. To download a free Acrobat reader, go to:

2010-2011 Academic Year

This year my focus was on how to develop learning goals and objectives for teaching critical thinking skills relevant to particular disciplines. Since I arrived at Bethel in 2008, I have been emphasizing the importance of identifying what I call the critical thinking "subskills" that must be targeted in any given course or lesson; using the language of teaching objectives not only helps students understand why they are being asked to perform a given exercise, it also helps faculty gain clarity on exactly what skills they wish to teach.

opening handout
main handout
subskills on the CAT and MAPP tests

2009-10 Academic Year

This year the QEP session in the annual faculty workshop was devoted to shoring up the work done in the previous year and getting initial feedback from faculty, so the handout is brief. Still, it summarizes some key points relating to the teaching of critical thinking.


2008-09 Academic Year

Main Campus in McKenzie: Five workshops were held during the Fall semester. In addition, an hour's workshop was presented during the Faculty Workshop in August.

Satellite Campuses: In the fall, workshops at the satellite campuses covered the same material as workshops in McKenzie. In the spring, new workshops were designed to target practical skills in managing small group learning and teaching with the case method.

The first workshop on satellite campuses corresponded to the workshop held during the annual Faculty Workshop held at McKenzie in August. Workshops #2-3 on satellite campuses corresponded to workshops #1-2 on the McKenzie campus.

Spring Handouts, Satellite Campuses
main handout
Afternoon Tea at the Peninsula Hong Kong case
science cases directions form
science cases: A Tale of Two Houses case, A Walk through Mike's Code case, What is Native Fluency? case, Mary Keeper's Aching Head case
argument assignment directions

Introduction to Bethel's QEP in Critical Thinking (August 14 at McKenzie campus)

Instructional Strategies for Teaching Critical Thinking (September 4 at McKenzie campus)
main handout
Smith worksheet
Woolman worksheet

Critical Writing, Critical Reading, Critical Thinking (September 16 at McKenzie campus)
(Conversion between file formats created some odd text formatting.)

Teaching Argumentation and Informal Logic (September 30 at McKenzie campus)
Additionally, I copied four pages from Anthony Weston's A Rulebook for Arguments,
two pages from Douglas Walton's Fundamentals of Critical Argumentation, and
and two pages from Kenneth Bruffee's Short Course in Writing.

Quantitative Reasoning, Scientific Reasoning, and Critical Thinking (October 16 at McKenzie campus)
Additionally, I copied two pages from Giere, Bickle, and Mauldin, Understanding Scientific Reasoning
and two pages from Holowchak, Critical Reasoning and Science.

Ethics, Social Action, and Critical Thinking (October 30 at McKenzie campus)

Workshop Schedules
schedule of workshops for fall semester, McKenzie campus
schedule of workshops, Chattanooga campus
schedule of workshops, Clarksville campus
schedule of workshops, Jackson campus
schedule of workshops, Memphis/Germantown campus
schedule of workshops, Nashville campus

For more information, contact Carl Seaquist.