In This Section: I. Author BioII. Author Letter I. Author Bio Peter Facione, PhD, wants to help everyone build up their critical thinking skills, for their own sakes, and for the sake of our freedom and democracy. Facione draws on decades of experience as a teacher, consultant, business entrepreneur, university dean, grandfather, husband, and avid "old school" pickup basketball player. Now he is taking his message about the importance of critical thinking directly to students. For improving...See more
In This Section: I. Author BioII. Author Letter I. Author Bio Peter Facione, PhD, wants to help everyone build up their critical thinking skills, for their own sakes, and for the sake of our freedom and democracy. Facione draws on decades of experience as a teacher, consultant, business entrepreneur, university dean, grandfather, husband, and avid "old school" pickup basketball player. Now he is taking his message about the importance of critical thinking directly to students. For improving reasoning skills for use in one's personal, professional, and civic life, there may never before have been a more practical, enjoyable, important, comprehensive, and engaging text than this. "I've paid very close attention to the way people make decisions since I was 13 years old," says Facione. "Some people were good at solving problems and making decisions; others were not. I have always felt driven to figure out how to tell which were which." He says that this led him as an undergraduate and later as a professor to study psychology, philosophy, logic, statistics, and information systems as he searched for how our beliefs, values, thinking skills, and habits of mind connect with the decisions we make, particularly in contexts of risk and uncertainty. "As a teacher and as a college administrator, I focused on problem-solving and decision-making strategies so that I could be a more effective teacher and a more capable leader. I found it was always valuable when working with groups or individuals to be mindful of how they applied their cognitive skills and habits of mind to solve a problem, make a decision, or troubleshoot a situation. Careful analysis and open-minded truth seeking always worked better than any other way of approaching problems." A native Midwesterner, Facione earned his PhD in philosophy from Michigan State University and his BA in philosophy from Sacred Heart College in Detroit. He says, "Critical thinking has helped me be a better parent, citizen, manager, teacher, writer, and friend. It even helps a little when playing point guard!" In academia, Facione served as provost of Loyola University--Chicago, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Santa Clara University, and dean of the School of Human Development and Community Service at California State University--Fullerton. "As a dean and provost, I could easily see that critical thinking was alive and well in every professional field and academic discipline." "I've focused my research on the teaching and measurement of critical thinking since my earliest years as a faculty member in the 1960s and 1970s. But before you can measure something that crosses into every aspect of life, you have to be sure that you understand what it is. So in the 1980s, I first had to see whether there was a consensus among experts about the term "critical thinking." After two years of research, a solid consensus emerged. That plus all the stats and behavioral science research I had studied and taught for years enabled me and my research team, during the 1990s, to design and validate tools to assess critical thinking skills and habits of mind. In the first decade of this century, our team has explored the connections between critical thinking and human decision making in its broadest sense." In fact, Facione spearheaded the international study to define critical thinking, sponsored by the American Philosophical Association. His research formed the basis for numerous government policy studies about critical thinking in the workplace, including research sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. Today, his tools for assessing reasoning are used around the world in educational, business, legal, military, and health sciences. Today, Peter... See less
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