Critical Thinking

Resources for Teaching Critical Thinking in the University Classroom

Getting Started

VALUE Rubrics - Association of American Colleges & Universities (AACU)
The AACU provides a variety of rubrics to help instructors assess learning outcomes, including Critical Thinking.

Critical Thinking: Where to BeginThe Critical Thinking Community
The Foundation for Critical Thinking provides an introduction to what critical thinking is and why educators should cultivate it in their students. Resources specific to College and University Faculty are provided.

Critical Thinking - Faculty Innovation Center, University of Texas at Austin
This user-friendly guide to Critical Thinking focuses on Halpern’s (2003) framework of critical thinking skills across disciplines. Videos, references, and written resources on each of the following are provided:
1) Develop critical thinking attitude
2) Critical Thinking Skills Training
3) Use Skills in New Contexts
4) Metacognition

Critical Thinking: Learning, Teaching, and Assessment  – George Brown College
In collaboration with the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO), this handbook provides the Critical Thinking Assessment Rubric, explains critical thinking constructs, and provides examples from a variety of postsecondary courses.

Critical Thinking Skills Cheatsheet - Global Digital Citizen Foundation
“Critical thinking is thinking on purpose. It’s clear, rational, logical, and independent thinking. It’s about practicing mindful communication and problem-solving with freedom from bias or egocentric tendency. You can apply critical thinking to any kind of subject, problem, or situation you choose. We made the Critical Thinking Skills Cheatsheet for you with this in mind.”

Critical Thinking with Garfield Gini-Newman  (video) Edmonton Regional Learning Consortium
An introduction to critical thinking and suggestions for fostering skills in students.

Stephen Brookfield on Creative & Critical Thinking (video) DePaul University Teaching Commons
Topics include getting students to challenge assumptions and explore alternative perspectives, including ideas for practical activities.

Further Reading

Bean, J. C. (2011). Engaging ideas: The professor's guide to integrating writing, critical thinking, and active learning in the classroom (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Available online or in-print through Western Libraries

Brookfield, S. (2012). Teaching for critical thinking: Tools and techniques to help students question their assumptions (1st ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Available online through Western Libraries.

Facione, P., & Gittens, C.A. (2016). THINK critically (3rd ed.). Toronto, ON: Pearson. Previous edition available through interlibrary loan.

Gelder, T. v. (2005). Teaching critical thinking: Some lessons from cognitive science. College Teaching, 53(1), 41-46. doi:10.3200/CTCH.53.1.41-48. PDF available.

Paul, R., & Elder, L. (2003). The thinker's guide to how to write a paragraph: The art of substantive writing; how to say something worth saying about something worth saying something about. Dillon Beach, CA: Foundation for Critical Thinking. Available in-print through Western Libraries.

Van Gyn, G., & Ford, C. (2006). Teaching for critical thinking. London, ON: Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Available in-print through Western Libraries. 

Academic Advancement Network at Michigan State University
This online resource guide provides links to many papers and assessment options related to critical thinking. Other resources on the site related to critical thinking include active learning, problem-based learning, and collaborative learning.

Center for Research on Teaching and Learning at the University of Michigan
The Teaching Strategies section has a myriad of resources to encourage, integrate, and mark critical thinking in the classroom.

Critical Thinking Web from the Philosophy Department at The University of Hong Kong
In the Tutorials section there are links that for each the key elements within:  critical thinking, meaning analysis, argument analysis, basic logic, Venn diagrams, sentential logic, predicate logic, basic statistic, scientific reasoning, values, fallacies and biases, strategic reasoning, and creative thinking. There is also a free download pdf document - Critical thinking mini-guide - that summarizes the tutorials.

The Idea Center The IDEA Center is a nonprofit organization with a mission to serve colleges and universities committed to improving learning, teaching, and leadership performance.