1st Edition

Teaching Critical Thinking Using Seminars for 21st Century Literacy

By Laura Billings, Terry Roberts Copyright 2012
    176 Pages
    by Eye On Education

    176 Pages
    by Eye On Education

    Help students meet today’s literacy demands with this new book from Terry Roberts and Laura Billings. The authors show how a seminar approach can lead students deeper into a text and improve their speaking, listening, and writing skills, as recommended by the Common Core State Standards.

    Roberts and Billings provide easy-to-follow information on implementing Paideia Seminars, in which students discuss a text and ask open-ended questions about it. When teachers use this lesson format, students are exposed to a wide range of increasingly complex texts. They also learn how to collaborate, talk about, and reflect on what they’re reading, to make meaning independently and together. Seminars can be done in English class and across the curriculum, using social studies documents or math problems as the texts under discussion.

    Teaching Critical Thinking also offers an array of practical resources:

    • teacher lesson plans
    • student samples
    • a list of possible ideas and values for discussion
    • a guide to asking good questions during a seminar
    • six full seminar plans (including the texts), covering literature, social studies, and science topics

    About the Authors
    Free Downloads
    Introduction: The Role of Thinking in Today's Schools
    1. What Is Thinking? Can We Teach It in School?
    2. Coming to Terms: Using Language to Describe Dialogue
    3. The Paideia Seminar in Action
    4. Introducing Speaking and Listening Skills
    5. Mastering Speaking and Listening Skills
    6. Developing the Mind Through Dialogue
    7. Assessing the Quality of Thoughtful Dialogue
    8. Socrates Teaching Thinking: A Secondary Seminar
    Appendix A: Things Worth Talking About
    Appendix B: Questions Worth Asking
    Appendix C: Sample Seminar Texts and Plans


    Dr. Terry Roberts has been Director of the National Paideia Center since 1993. A former high school English teacher from Asheville, North Carolina, he is a practicing scholar of American Literature and Cultural Studies, with a strong penchant for the classics. He is fascinated by the social and intellectual power of dialogue to teach and to inspire., Dr. Laura Billings has been Associate Director of the National Paideia Center since 1998. She is a former secondary teacher from Jacksonville, Florida. Dr. Billings’ research and teaching focus on the socio-linguistic aspects of dialogue. In addition, she is deeply committed to holistic assessment practices.