The evening lecture is tied to a two-day conference on critical thinking at the same location April 5 and 6 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Although the conference also is free to participants, reservations are required and space is limited. Educators and administrators from throughout South Texas are expected to attend.
Dr. Richard Paul, director of the Center for Critical Thinking and Moral Critique at Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, Calif., a nationally recognized expert in the field of critical thinking, will lead the conference and give the April 5 lecture.
Paul is considered the "guru" of the critical thinking movement, having published six books and more than 100 articles on the subject. He has written books for every grade level and has done extensive experimentation with teaching tactics and strategies.
"UTPA is making an all-out commitment to include critical thinking across the university curriculum," said Janice Courtney, assistant professor of communication and one of the organizers of the event. "This (critical thinking) is something we think needs to be integrated into the classroom at every level."
Dr. Thomas Pearson, UTPA assistant professor of philosophy who copresented a preconference seminar on critical thinking in March, said students need critical thinking skills to analyze texts, understand claims based on statistics, evaluate whether arguments are sound and to identify fallacious reasoning.
The evening lecture April 5 will provide a general overview of critical thinking for those unable to attend the two-day conference.
"Dr. Paul will give a brief introduction to critical thinking and its relevance to education, business and technology. Then there will be a question-and-answer period," Courtney said. "This is the chance (for those attending) to ask particular questions of the leader of the conference."
The conference and lecture are sponsored by UTPA’s Office of the Provost and the Faculty Development Council.
For more information or to make a reservation for the conference, contact Dr. Michael Minor at 381-3351, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.