HL606 Applied Critical Thinking and Creative Problem Thinking

Course Description

The purpose of this course is twofold; it is designed to challenge the students to evaluate and enhance their own critical thinking and creative problem solving skills in order that they may better understand the cognitive processes necessary to help others examine issues of animal welfare more critically and creatively. Students will engage in activities that enhance their own higher level thinking skills of analysis, evaluation and synthesis. In addition students will engage in activities designed to enhance their creative problem solving skills. Students will then apply these skills to analyzing a current animal protection issue, presenting the actual facts about the issue and developing new solutions to problems related to this issue. 3 credits

Course Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Describe their own epistemologies by answering the questions: What is knowledge? How is knowledge acquired? And how do we know what we know?
  • Evaluate statistical and scientific claims made in the media, in academic journals and on websites.
  • Complete an in-depth investigation of one animal protection issue that includes: a critical analysis of the multiple perspectives, a summary of the elements of the issue that most closely approximate “the truth” and a set of creative solutions for some problem associated with the issue.

Course Topics

(Subject to Change)

  • Knowing what you know
  • Science as a way of knowing
  • Argumentation Strategies
  • Consider the source
  • The Effect of Affect

Course Materials

(Subject to Change)

  • Best, J. (2008). Stat-Spotting: A Field Guide to Identifying Dubious Data. Berkeley, CA, University of California Press.
    ISBN: 978-0520257467
    Approximate Retail Price: $19.00
  • Gladwell, M. (2005). Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking, New York, Little Brown & Co.
    ISBN: 978-0316172325
    Approximate Retail Price: $15.00
  • LeGault, M.R. (2006). Think: Why Crucial Decisions Can’t be Made in the Blink of an Eye, New York, Threshold Edition.
    ISBN: 978-1416531555
    Approximate Retail Price: $15.00
  • Gardner, D. (2009). The Science of Fear: How the Culture of Fear Manipulates your Brain, New York: Plume.
    ISBN: 978-0452295469
    Approximate Retail Price: $12.00
  • Leher, J. (2010). How We Decide, Boston: Mariner Books.
    ISBN: 978-0547247991
    Approximate Retail Price: $11.00
  • Thaler, R and Sunstein, C. (2009). Nudge, New York: Penguin.
    ISBN: 978-0143115267
    Approximate Retail Price: $11.00
  • Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking Fast Thinking Slow, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
    ISBN: 978-0374275631
    Approximate Retail Price: $17.00
  • Fine, C. (2008). A Mind of Its Own: How your Brain Distorts and Deceives, New York: WW Norton and Co.
    ISBN: 978-0393331639
    Approximate Retail Price: $11.00
  • Shermer, M. (2011). The Believing Brain, New York: Times Books
    ISBN: 978-1250008800
    Approximate Retail Price: $11.00
  • Kida, T. (2006). Don’t Believe Everything You Think, Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books.
    ISBN: 978-1591024088
    Approximate Retail Price: $14.00