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3 April 2024

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Student Matters

Registration is open to current students for summer and fall 2024 courses.

CCT summer courses are offered as 6-week intensives and are open to prospective students and non-degree students as well as current students. This year’s courses have strong themes of personal and professional development focused on developing creative practices in work and life settings. The Seminar in Critical Thinking (first half of summer) addresses the “Design for Living Complexities” and how we develop ourselves, our practices, and our communities in the face of change. The Seminar in Creativity (second half of summer) emphasizes “Creative Realization”, and how we, as reflective practitioners, bring our own good ideas and visions to life.

  • CrCrTh 611, Seminar in Critical Thinking (Theme: Design for Living Complexities); May 28-July 11, 2024; online only, with meetings on Mondays and Wednesdays, 5:00-8:00pm ET (all students: register for class #2950)

CrCrTh 611 theme for summer 2024: “Design for Living Complexities”. In this seminar, students embark on an exploration at the intersection of design thinking, systems thinking, and critical thinking to tackle complex issues and challenges. Through a dynamic and collaborative approach synthesizing these three disciplines, students delve into rigorous analysis and dialogue to expand their perspectives on intervention strategies and change-making. A unique aspect of the course is that students choose the problems and issues they wish to explore, ensuring the relevance of the course to their experiences and aspirations. Prompted by the course content, they then experiment with developing intervention and change frameworks based on their chosen case studies. The methodology empowers them to tailor their approach to the specific challenges they are passionate about addressing. By applying these personalized frameworks, students can identify strengths, weaknesses, and blind spots in their thought processes, develop innovative solutions, and cultivate lifelong critical thinking and reflective practice habits.

  • CrCrTh 612, Seminar in Creativity (Theme: Creative Realization of Ideas); July 15-August 22, 2024; online only, with meetings on Thursdays, 6:00-9:00pm ET (all students: register for class #2951)

CrCrTh 612 theme for summer 2024: “Creative Realization of Ideas”. The course is directed to center the student on framing the question: ‘What do you want to create for yourself (and/or for your students?)’ – and then actualizing the product, in real life. Instructor Ben Schwendener facilitates dialogue and discussion of elements and structure used in the creative process of each of the individual class participants and in the unique products themselves.

Fall 2024 courses (see here for descriptions):

  • CrCrTh 601 Critical Thinking (Tuesdays, 7:00-9:45pm)
  • CrCrTh 618 Creative Thinking, Collaboration, and Organizational Change (Tuesdays, 4:00-6:45pm)
  • CrCrTh 655 Metacognition (Thursdays, 4:00-6:45pm)
  • CrCrTh 692 Processes of Research and Engagement (Wednesdays, 4:00-6:45pm)

CCT Events

Reflective Practice Mini-Workshop: Contemplative Writing Through Listening
Hosted by the Graduate Program in Critical and Creative Thinking, UMass Boston
Monday, April 8, 7:00-8:30pm ET, online in Zoom
Free and open to all. RSVP here to receive the Zoom login information. For more information, see the full description.
Writing is more than just the words on the page and becomes a foundational activity that reflective practitioners can use to observe their thoughts and hear themselves as they interpret their experiences. One of the possibilities of writing is that it allows us to listen deeply to ourselves and not only engage in the creative act but also bear witness to our voice and bring us mindful and nonjudgemental awareness of ourselves. In this workshop, we will practice reflective writing through deliberate listening, exploring the “sound” of voice (ourselves and others). The workshop will briefly introduce to approaches to how we can be attentive to our listening in order to help us get the words flowing, inspired by two perspectives, 1) reflective writing as inquiry, and 2) Metcalf and Simon’s concept of proprioceptive writing. Participants will get a chance to try some approaches that draw upon these perspectives as we reflect on our own experiences, curiosities, and examinations of what is happening in our thinking. All are welcome, and we invite you to join us as we learn from each other and continue to build our reflective practice.

Alum, Student, and CCT Associates Notables

CCT students, alums, and associates are encouraged to send items about accomplishments, new publications, or offerings to the Critical and Creative Thinking community to be included in future newsletters. Please email cct@umb.edu.

Events

Fall 2024 Capra Course: The Systems View of Life
Registrations for the Fall 2024 Capra Course are now open! Join the growing community of systems thinkers learning about and applying systems thinking in their lives, occupations, and communities. In this 12-week course, you will have the unique opportunity to interact with Fritjof Capra and to join one of the many study groups in different languages (offered by dedicated volunteer alumni).
Once you complete the course, you will become part of the alumni community, where you will be invited to quarterly gatherings with Fritjof and will have access to past recordings and many more resources. For more information and registration costs, see the website.

Fostering Collective Efficacy – 2024 Institutes
June 18, 2024 – Virtual Institute (Zoom), 9:00am – 2:00pm Central Time
October 24-25, 2024 – in-person Institute (New Orleans), 9:00am – 3:30pm Central Time
When team members share a sense of collective efficacy it results in greater professional well-being, resilience, and impact. Participants will develop deeper understandings about collective efficacy, the positive consequences associated with it, and the sources that shape a team’s beliefs about what they are capable of accomplishing. Since ‘Collective Efficacy’ topped John Hattie’s Visible Learning list of factors that matter the most in raising student achievement, educators and school leaders are asking themselves: How can we foster a sense of collective efficacy? In this session, participants will consider how to harness the power of teams by identifying the conditions that help to enable collective efficacy in schools. For more information and registration details, see the websites for the virtual event and the in-pserson event.

Problem-Based Learning Workshop
June 3-7, 2024, hosted by the Institute for Transforming University Education (University of Delaware)
The PBL 2024 Summer workshop will be held virtually and will feature synchronous meetings over five days: June 3rd–June 7th, 2024. If you’ve ever been interested in exploring how to integrate problem-based learning into your classroom, this is a great opportunity for you to learn from expert practitioners. We will walk you through the steps to develop engaging problems for your discipline. You will experience various kinds of approaches to PBL and learn how to set up your classes to successfully integrate this type of learning. Our program is designed for new and current practitioners of PBL, and while we focus on college/university level education in all disciplines, we would also welcome K–12 teachers.
For more information and registration details, see the website.

Foundations of Philosophical Enquiry course
Hosted by The Philosophy Foundation
April 6-7, 2024 onsite in London
October 26-27, 2024 virtual course
Foundations of Philosophical Enquiry is TPF’s flagship course. In it, you will learn a unique method of communicating and teaching philosophy in schools (PhiE) and other educational settings. PhiE is internationally recognised and critically acclaimed as a unique pedagogical method that creates exceptional results in the classroom and beyond. Foundations is ideal for teachers, philosophy students, and anyone wanting to manage conversations and conflict more strategically. See the website for more details and to register.

2024 Culturize Conferences
June 12-13 (Chicago), July 31-Aug. 1 (LaCrosse, WI), August 7-8 (Detroit Lakes, MN)
Unlike other conferences that have people telling educators what to do, this conference focuses on providing perspectives on what educators can do through the framework of Culturize, by Jimmy Casas. Using these transformational pillars of behavior, showcased below, each of the sessions will apply perspectives on how to meet the 4 Core Values of the Culturize framework and put them into action in your schools. See the website for details.

International Transformative Learning Conference (ITLC)
September 11-13, 2024, at the University of Siena in Italy
For more information about the conference, submitting proposals, and schedules, see the website.

Teaching Professor Conference
June 7-9, 2024, New Orleans, LA.
Extensive sessions and opportunities to connect around many areas related to teaching in higher education. For extensive details about the conference and registration, see the website.

Opportunities and Resources

  • CFP: 2024 Mentoring Conference Call for Proposals. The Call for Proposals for the 17th Annual Mentoring Conference: “Inclusive Developmental Networks: Building Transformative Communities Through Effective Mentoring” is now available to the public, and we need your submissions! Our Conference will occur from Monday, October 21 through Friday, October 25, 2024, in the Student Union Building at the University of New Mexico, Main Campus, Albuquerque, NM. The Mentoring Institute is welcoming proposals from faculty, students, researchers, professionals, and practitioners interested in the scholarship of mentoring, coaching, supervision, and leadership from businesses, corporations, non-profit and NGO organizations, governmental agencies, K-12, and institutions of higher education from all disciplines and professions. See the website for full details and proposal requirements.
  • Sage Campus course materials on Fact-Checking Sources
  • Kempner Institute (Harvard University): Study of Natural and Artificial Intelligence

Food for Thought