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Critical Thinking Resources

Teaching Critical Thinking - Active Learning Activities

The following are some examples of active learning techniques that can be used in teaching critical thinking.

Explain concepts to new learners

Debates, dialogues, or writing assignments to defend or attack a thesis or point of view

Small group problem solving

Using data to determine a thesis or hypothesis


Writing summaries of articles, films, lectures, etc.

Case Studies

   Case studies of fictional situations can be used to generate discussion, solve a problem, or resolve a conflict

Simulation games

Journal writing

Independent research


Socratic Questioning

Writing assignments

Books on Teaching Critical Thinking

Articles on Teaching Critical Thinking

Abrami, P. C., Bernard, R. M., Borokhovski, E., Waddington, D. I., Wade, A. C., & Persson, T. (2015). Strategies for teaching students to think critically: A meta-analysis. Review of Educational Research, 85(2), 275-314.  doi:10.3102/0034654314551063

Huber, C. R. & Kuncel, N. R. (2016). Does college teach critical thinking? A meta-analysis.  Review of Educational Research, 86(2), 431-468.  doi:10.3102/0034654315605917

Johnston, B., Mitchell, R., Myles, F., & Ford, P. (2011). Developing student criticality in higher education: Undergraduate learning in the arts and social sciences.  New York, NY: Continuum.  STROZIER LB2395.35 .D48 2011.

Team-Based Learning Activities

Sweet, M. & Michaelsen, L. K. (2012). Team-based learning in the social sciences and humanities: Group work that works to generate critical thinking and engagement. Sterling, VA: Stylus.  STROZIER H62 .T288 2012

Active Learning Techniques

"Teaching Tactics That Encourage Active Learning," in Paul, R. & Elder, L. (2000). Critical Thinking: Basic Theory and Instructional Structures Handbook.  Tomales, CA: Foundation for Critical Thinking. 

Bean, J. C. (2011). Engaging ideas: The professor's guide to integrating writing, critical thinking, and active learning in the classroom.  San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.  STROZIER PE1404 .B35 2011


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