The 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.
I have attended many of the Foundation’s conferences and presented my own research at some. I tip my hat to anyone who contributes to the effort of teaching/learning critical thinking. However, I dislike it when anyone forces my thinking into their framework, which is what the Foundation does. When I submitted a proposal, I was told to explain how my ideas aligned with those of the Foundation or expect a rejection. I don’t think the Foundation or anyone else should delimit one’s ideas on critical thinking. The field is too broad, too fluid. It smacks of a very doctrinaire and close-minded attitude, which is the very mindset that critical thinking tries to avoid!
In my book, Critical Thinking Now: Practical Teaching Methods for Classrooms Around the World (Rowman & Littlefield), I write this about the Foundation in my Annotated Resources section:
The Foundation for Critical Thinking was started by Richard Paul, a prominent philosopher and writer on critical thinking. He and Linda Elder have grown the foundation into one of the most active and comprehensive forces in the U.S. today. All publications, workshops, and research are centered on the intellectual standards and elements of reasoning. The organization conducts a yearly, week-long conference and some weekend workshops. The Thinker’s Guide, a series of 22 booklets, cover various topics, such as How to Improve Student Learning and the Art of Asking Essential Questions. The material is a bit repetitive and difficult to implement without special training, but it does contain some good ideas.
But, then you—as a critical thinker—need to decide for yourself.