Thursday, March 26, 2009
Presentation schedule: April 1, 2009
I will be presenting at the Developmental Science Teaching Institute, a preconference meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, April 1, 2009, in Denver, CO. The title of the presentation is "Don't be so [un]critical! Using critical thinking to foster mastery of child development concepts." This presentation will draw some parallels between concerns about general science education and about undergraduate child development courses, and will look at general critical thinking skills like inference as they apply to the study of child development. Reasons for students' weak critical thinking abilities will be explored, and concerns about both textbooks and instructor practices will be discussed. Specific problems of critical thinking about child development-- for example, the heavy use of analogies in developmental science-- will be addressed. Finally, some suggestions will be given for ways in which line-by-line reading and analysis can encourage critical thinking and the mastery of child development theory and fact.