Instructional Portfolios for Critical Thinking

The Concept

To respect the faculty request to focus on discipline-specific professional development, and to gain synergy from similar disciplines working together, SPC initially will form Academic Roundtables (ARTs) from related disciplines. Participating faculty will engage in (1) professional development, (2) research on strategies for teaching for critical thinking, (3) review of their programs to select the best courses for infusing critical thinking, and (4) developing an instructional portfolio for those selected courses. Instructional portfolios, which could include enhanced syllabi, class activities, or RLOs, and conference presentations or publications on strategies within disciplines. These will be made available through this gateway website. Instructional portfolios containing suggested syllabi, class work, and assessments developed by ARTs can act as models of strategies for other faculty, especially adjunct professors (Hutchings, 1998). Reflection on the process of developing strategies, according to the American Association of Higher Education (AAHE) Course Portfolio Working Group, can be one of the most rewarding aspects of this form of professional development.

The Ethics department, Early Childhood Education department, College of Education (COE), and Student Life Skills (SLS) program will be the pilot programs for fostering critical thinking in the classroom. Faculty from these departments will attend the Critical Thinking Institute and participate in Academic Roundtables (ARTs) in the first year. Faculty in pilot programs and other interested faculty will create instructional portfolios to house course syllabi, classroom activities, RLOs, discipline-specific critical thinking assessments, and reflection on the strategies for teaching for critical thinking within their disciplines. Instructional portfolios will be stored on the gateway website and include materials that have been developed for the classroom and determined to be effective in developing students' critical thinking skills.

Year 1

2008 Instructional Portfolios

2009 Instructional Portfolios

2010 Instructional Portfolios

2011 Instructional Portfolios