Learning to Think Things Through: A Guide to Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum

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Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008 - Education - 231 pages
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How important is critical thinking in all areas of the curriculum?  This short, inexpensive guide is designed to help students learn to think critically inanysubject-matter course. A combination of instruction and exercises shows them how to use critical thinking to more fully appreciate the power of the discipline they are studying, to see its connections to other fields and to their day-to-day lives, to maintain an overview of the field so they can see the parts in terms of the whole, and to becomeactive learnersrather than passive recipients of information. The model of critical thinking (used throughout the book) is in terms of theelements of reasoning,standards, andcritical thinking processes. This model is well-suited to thinking throughanyproblem or question.

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About the author (2008)

Dr. Gerald Nosich has been working in Critical Thinking since 1977.  He is a Professor of Philosophy and in the Intellectual Foundations Program at Buffalo State College.


Since the mid-1980s he has become committed to teaching for Critical Thinking across the curriculum.  He believes that, in the final analysis, the only way for students to master content, in any course, is by learning tothinktheir way through it.  And the only way for students to take effective control of their own lives and choices is by learning to think more critically about them.


Dr Nosich  has given more than 200 workshops on all aspects of teaching for critical thinking. These have been given for instructors at all levels of education, in the U.S., in Canada, Thailand, Lithuania, Austria, and Germany.  Virtually all of these have been on teaching for critical thinking across the curriculum.  They include workshops on methods, infusing, strategies, assessment, skills, using the elements and standards, research, and questioning techniques. 


He has been an evaluator for SACS. He has helped create critical-thinking programs across the curriculum at Buffalo State, at South University, at Missouri Western State University.  He has been instrumental as a professional developer at institutions that have developed exemplary programs of Critical Thinking across the curriculum, such as Surry Community College, Wilkes Community College, Northwest Vista College, and Western Kentucky University.


On a content level, he has given many general workshops in teaching for Critical Thinking in any subject matter course.  But he has also given workshops on teaching for critical thinking in a wide range of more specialized subject matters, including:

  • writing and composition
  • the biological and physical sciences,
  • social sciences,
  • education,
  • nursing and other health-related fields,
  • arts, humanities, literature and language arts,
  • business education,
  • technical and professional fields,
  • librarianship.

The emphasis in his workshops, as inLearning to Think Things Through, is on helping students learn both to think through the subject matter and to internalize the power that the discipline can have in their experience of education and in their own lives.


Dr. Nosich  has worked with the U.S. Department of Education on a project for a National Assessment of Higher Order Thinking Skills.  He has given highly-acclaimed teleconferences sponsored by PBS and Starlink on teaching for critical thinking within subject-matter courses.  He has served as a consultant for ACT in Critical Thinking and Language Arts assessment.  He has served as an NEH Evaluator for Critical Thinking programs, and as a docent at the New Orleans Museum of Art. He has been Assistant Director at the Center for Critical Thinking at Sonoma State University.  He is the author of numerous articles, audio- and videotapes on critical thinking.


On a more personal note, he has at times exercised and not exercised good judgment: he has ridden a motorcycle alone to Baghdad (and to Ur of the Chaldees, the birthplace of Abraham); he has worked as an immigrant ditch-digger in Switzerland, been imprisoned by Communist authorities in Czechoslovakia, stowed away on a Sicilian ship to Algeria, sailed up the Nile with his family in a felucca, and lived with Maasai warriors in central Africa and in a yurt in Mongolia.  He is a Hurricane Katrina refugee and lives, reasonably far from future hurricanes, in Buffalo, New York.

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