Finally, a college prep book that actually prepares students for college!
Nearly every first-year college student discovers that college courses are more academically challenging than they expected, and certainly harder than classes in high school. Professors expect students not just to absorb material, but to analyze and synthesize it, to consider multiple perspectives, to evaluate conflicting evidence, and then to apply what they’ve learned in new contexts.
Thinking Critically in College explains how to do all this and more.
Unlike most college prep books—which advise you to go to office hours, get enough sleep, take good notes, and learn how to get along with your roommate—this one actually shows you how to do the work your professors will assign and explains how to tackle common academic challenges. This accessible and comprehensive handbook covers metacognition (thinking about how you think); basic critical thinking skills; college-level reading, writing, and quantitative reasoning; how to think about academic disciplines; decoding actual assignments from college courses, and tackling research projects.
Lee Cuba, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Wellesley College, and author of Practice for Life: Making Decisions in College
Written in a personal, engaging style that draws on the author’s experience as a professor and academic advisor for nearly forty years, Thinking Critically in College is an indispensable guide to doing the work of college for students from all academic backgrounds.
Features of the Book:
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Praise for Thinking Critically in College
Louis Newman is available for consultations and Speaking Engagements
“Preparing Our Students to Succeed in College”
What academic skills do our students need to do college-level work? (Hint: doing well in high school probably isn’t sufficient.) In this session, we introduce the key critical thinking skills students really need to become independent, lifelong learners.
“Help Them to ‘Step Up Their Game’ by Explaining What Game They’re Playing”
Every assignment we give is an opportunity to help our students hone their critical thinking skills. In this workshop, we’ll explore ways to make these skills more explicit in the way we craft assignments, so students can identify and internalize the competencies we expect them to master.
“The GPS System Every Student Needs to Navigate College”
For most of our students, college is unfamiliar, for many it is challenging, for some it is intimidating. In this session, we’ll consider how to provide the conceptual roadmap students need to make sense of new subjects, new academic expectations, and new opportunities.
“How to Center Critical Thinking in Everything We Teach”
Faculty want their students to think critically but may not know how to impart these skills through their assignments or their pedagogy. In this session, we’ll identify the core components of critical thinking and explore how these can be woven into the structure of our courses, our assignments, and our feedback on student work.
“Cultivating Metacognition in Our Students”
We all want our students to become better learners. Here are some simple techniques to help them identify how they think, and how they can become more self-aware about their own learning processes.
“Why Our Students Can’t Think Critically, and What We Can Do About It”
Faculty complain that students don’t know how to analyze the material they assign, and students complain they don’t understand what faculty expect of them. The solution to this longstanding impasse may be simpler than we imagine.
“The Perennial Challenge of Higher Education: Creating Critical Thinkers”
Our mission is to give students the critical thinking skills they need to complete their coursework and to become lifelong learners. But if it were that simple, we’d be more successful at it than
studies suggest we are. This talk addresses some strategies for centering critical thinking throughout the curriculum, and beyond.
“Critical Thinking—What it Means and Why it Matters”
Critical thinking has been defined in many different ways. What skills are we actually trying to impart to our students and how can we ensure that they get them? Our success as educators depends on getting this right. And there is probably no time in our history as a nation when the stakes have been higher.
“Beyond Belonging: Critical Thinking Skills as Key to Self-Esteem, Persistence, and Academic Success”
We know that our students need a sense of belonging to succeed in college. But to really gain academic self-confidence they also need to understand specific critical thinking skills and practice using them. Here is how to prepare them for the challenges ahead and give them the tools they will need to get academically engaged and stay the course.
“Learning How to Learn”: The Most Important Course is the One You Will Never Take”
College is all about learning how to learn more effectively. But most schools never specifically identify the strategies students need to do this. This talk covers the essentials of metacognition and effective study strategies that every student needs to know before they can really tackle all the other work they need to do.
“Developing Relationships with Your Professors: What Every Student Needs to Know”
Most students think college is all about completing the coursework and getting good grades. But cultivating close relationships with faculty is the best way to get the most out of college and to build the connections that will lead to post-graduation opportunities. Come learn how to engage effectively with your faculty and discover how many doors they can open for you.
"How to Think About College and Choose the One That's Right for You"
There are so many colleges to choose from and so many factors to weigh. When I visit a campus, what should I focus on? Should I pick the most prestigious place, or choose based on my intended major? Does size matter? Location? With so much at stake, it's worth getting some advice from an "insider."
"Thinking Critically in College: What You Need to Know"
Most students discover that college is much harder academically than high school was. You'll be asked to think in new and more sophisticated ways, which your professors may never explain
clearly. No matter how well you have done until now, you may need to step up your game. Come learn how you can prepare to "think like a college student."
“Getting the Most Out of College: The Values and Attitudes that Really Matter”
Succeeding in college is about more than grades, or smarts, or even great study skills. If you want to take advantage of all that college has to offer, you need to develop certain mindsets and attitudes. Find out what they are and make sure you get your money’s worth out of college.
“Ready, Set, . . .Wait: How to Know If You’re Really Prepared for College, and What to Do If You’re Not”
Timing is everything. College might be the right path, but before you enroll, make sure you’re really prepared—academically, emotionally, psychologically and financially. Come learn how to evaluate whether this is the right time, and what to do if you decide to postpone.
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