How Can You Change Someone’s Mind

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 anContinue reading “How Can You Change Someone’s 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 areContinue reading “Conference Opportunities”

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.

Critical Thinking Courses

The Foundation for Critical Thinking is offering six online courses : 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 aContinue reading “Critical Thinking Courses”

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.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 ofContinue reading “What To Teach College Students about Writing Reports”

Math + Critical Thinking

I 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 forContinue reading “Math + Critical Thinking”

Opportunity to Join Critical Thinking Community–With a Caveat

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 fellowsContinue reading “Opportunity to Join Critical Thinking Community–With a Caveat”

Caitlin Johnstone

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