KOLT Workshop – Supporting Critical Thinking across the Disciplines: Methods for Student-Centered Teaching

In this session, participants will explore what “critical thinking” means in their fields of study and pedagogy; consider how critical thinking is manifested in students’ work; and learn perspectives and classroom methods—including a focus on certain kinds of writing—for enhancing students’ critical thinking.


Teachers of all disciplines want students to practice “critical thinking”: going beyond the accumulation of information and actively exploring that information, considering its implications, and integrating it into existing knowledge. Among many “high-impact practices” in higher education, there is plentiful evidence that engaging students in the learning process yields stronger gains in critical thinking than simply providing them with information. The session will include several activities designed to demonstrate and apply the strategies in the context of participants’ own courses.


Chris Anson is Distinguished University Professor and Director of the Campus Writing and Speaking Program at North Carolina State University, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in language, composition, and literacy and works with faculty across the disciplines to enhance writing and speaking instruction. He has published fifteen books and over 120 articles and book chapters relating to writing and has spoken widely across the U.S. and in 30 other countries. He serves on the editorial boards of seven peer-reviewed journals. He has received numerous teaching awards and has participated in over $2 million in grants. He is Past Chair of the Conference on College Composition and Communication and Past President of the Council of Writing Program Administrators, and he was recently elected to the Steering Committee of the International Society for the Advancement of Writing Research.  His full c.v. is at www.ansonica.net