Getting Critical Thinking Curricula Into The Classroom

with Bob Carroll, Diane Swanson and Ray Hall

The critical thinking workshop will examine the challenges that face teachers and curriculum developers from the elementary school to the university level. We will suggest methods for meeting those challenges and offer practical exercises for teachers to take back with them to the classroom.

Diane Swanson’s science and nature books have been guiding teachers at the grade 4 through 8 level for many years. But high school and college instructors trying to bring critical thinking into their classrooms will find the exercises she recommends can be applied almost without modification to their classes.

Ray Hall brought a new course into the curriculum at California State University Fresno called Science and Nonsense. He’s developed several critical thinking exercises for the course, which he will share at the workshop. Ray is also currently chairing a committee that is examining all the critical thinking courses being taught at CSUF and will offer his insights on ideas such as a mandatory core curricula for critical thinking courses and ways of assessing outcomes of these courses.

Bob Carroll will describe his 30-year adventure of moving from teaching formal logic to practical logic to informal logic to critical thinking. He’ll discuss the critical thinking movement in California education, which has been formally active since 1980. He’ll also share his experiences in writing a critical thinking textbook and developing a college course that applies critical thinking skills to scientific studies on telepathy, psychokinesis, healing prayer, and spirits communicating with mediums.

Grassroots Media Training

with Margaret Downey

As skeptics we are often called to be activists when confronted with pseudo-science in the press. This intensive workshop will prepare you to get behind the microphone or camera and get your point across, despite the intentions of the host. Learn how to dress, what to say, and most importanty, how to stay on message so that the things you mean are heard by the audience. Whether you're someone who writes letters to the editor or you appear on Larry King Live, this training will prepare you to make the most of your time in the spotlight.

Margaret Downey has undergone intensive professional training in media preparedness. She is active in issues such as maintaining the Jeffersonian wall of church/state separation, freedom from religious intrusion, freedom of choice, and death with dignity.