Clemson Thinks2 kicked off its annual Faculty Institute training session this week at the Madren Center and featured keynote speaker Peter Facione, Ph.D., an internationally renowned expert in critical thinking. The four-day session is the university’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), a requirement for accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Now in its third year, the Faculty Institute was implemented to train Clemson faculty how to better teach critical thinking in the classroom. According to Clemson Thinks2 director David Knox, the faculty development is a transformative experience for faculty that sets Clemson apart from other universities teaching critical thinking skills.
“It’s not what’s being taught in the classroom. It’s how it’s being taught,” Knox says. The sessions place emphasis on how students communicate and engage in the classroom—getting students to actively participate in what they are being taught. The energy and enthusiasm from faculty is evident. Ellen Vincent, a professor of Horticulture at Clemson, says the sessions are great for exposing faculty to new and innovating teaching methods. “The Faculty Institute brings the field of critical thinking to life for us,” she says. Both Knox and Vincent share the same feelings that the sessions bring faculty together, creating a unique networking experience. Vincent, who herself gives lectures on critical thinking to kinesthetic learners, says the Faculty Institute has also enhanced her syllabi writing.
The Faculty Institute continues to resonate with faculty members throughout the academic year, transforming student learning outcomes and pedagogical methods across curriculums and disciplines at Clemson. For more information about the Faculty Institute or Clemson Thinks2 contact David Knox or click here.