How Can You Change Someone’s Mind

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is ted-ed-talk.png

This short TED-Ed talk by Hugo Mercier (4:27 minutes), How Can You Change Someone’s Mind, talks about three elements that will help when you want to discuss delicate or controversial topics. The three elements are 1) shared beliefs, 2) trusted sources, and 3) values. His presentation is elegant but goes fast. But it is an ideal springboard for teachers to discuss how to take these three components into account when talking to someone with differing views. And as Mercier states, you might end up changing your own mind!

Conference Opportunities

Dear critical thinker: I am posting to alert you to two upcoming (soon!) conferences that might interest you.

The Critical Thinking Consortium ( will hold a zoom call on leadership on May 13. To register: go to http://Register and pay for the conference. It is a very active organization and has many resources (some are free) such as an online library and many others for a nominal membership fee to help you integrate critical thinking into your classes.  

The Foundation for Critical Thinking ( is offering a webinar on May 18 on “Why the concept of critical thinking is in danger and why it needs to be established as an independent academic field of study.” To register, go to Webinar Q&A Sessions in the Center for Critica ( and to read about the other offerings.

Using Rubrics to Assess Critical Thinking

Assessing critical thinking has been a bugbear for teachers for years. After all, critical thinking is not like a problem in math or historical fact with a discrete answer. It’s a global, all-encompassing thinking pattern. Enter the time-honored rubric—a way to measure progress toward that goal.

Continue reading “Using Rubrics to Assess Critical Thinking”

Critical Thinking Courses

The Foundation for Critical Thinking is offering six online courses :

  1. How to Infuse Critical Thinking Into Your Instruction

2. Tools for Taking Charge of Your Learning and Your Life

3. How to Bring Critical Thinking into Higher Education Instruction on a Daily Basis

4. How to Bring Critical Thinking into K-12 Teaching on a Daily Basis

5. Critical Thinking Tools for Effective Leadership and Management

6. Why Critical Thinking is Difficult for the Human Species

Classes 1 and 2 begin January 25, 2022. Click on the URL for more information about those courses and registration:

Classes 3-4 begin in April, Classes 5-6 begin in May. Go to the following URL for more information:

Continue reading “Critical Thinking Courses”

How Best to Teach Critical Thinking?

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is student-and-teacher.jpg
  1. analyze the problem.
  2. generate solutions. 
  3. develop the reasoning for each solution.
  4. decide which is the best solution.
  5. use criteria to evaluate one’s thinking.

Continue reading “How Best to Teach Critical Thinking?”

Astroturfing, or How to Bamboozle Your Opponent

Astroturfing refers to promotional propaganda: things like using actors to promote a product or service, putting on a fake, angry demonstration (with paid actors); falsifying facts; using false media testimonials, etc. See John Oliver’s 8/12/18 program about how companies use astroturfing to trick you: http://(1080) Astroturfing: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) – YouTube.

Peter Facione, a prolific and well-known critical thinking expert, outlines the main strategies these astroturfing companies and organizations use to bamboozle you:

Continue reading “Astroturfing, or How to Bamboozle Your Opponent”

What To Teach College Students about Writing Reports

This 2014 article by Biswas and Paczynska made my heart sing, because it spells out exactly how writing and critical thinking play a role in the workplace. I have been preaching this gospel in my own classroom for eons. The article uses examples from the State Department, but they are applicable in a variety of employment situations.

Math + Critical Thinking

Math shirtI subscribe to The Critical Thinking Consortium, or TC2 ( It’s a group of educators who create material and conduct trainings for teachers. Super site too. It offers very accessible materials for all levels, often with a Canadian focus, since it’s headquartered in Vancouver, B.C. The site is informative and jam packed with ideas for educators of all subjects at all levels. Membership is nominal (~$40/yr) and allows you access everything. I’ve used many activities in my own classroom, and the students loved them. Continue reading “Math + Critical Thinking”

Opportunity to Join Critical Thinking Community–With a Caveat

Foundation for Crit ThinkThe Foundation for Critical thinking has sent me a notice of their new fee-based membership to the Center for Critical Thinking Community Online (CriticalThinkingCommunity). It offers many perks, such as access to its library of books and videos, all produced by the Foundation. One can also receive news, a blog written by two senior fellows of the Foundation, the opportunity to post your research, and so forth.Continue reading “Opportunity to Join Critical Thinking Community–With a Caveat”

Caitlin Johnstone

Daily Writings About The End Of Illusions


A Moving Account

Straw Clay Wood

Natural Building with Michael G. Smith

Seattle Muses

Conscious Fashion Studio

QA Productions

Ebooks = Real Books