Westwood College of Technology


                                                             Course Syllabus        2005 March Term


Creative & Critical Thinking

Hum400                Pre-Req: Eng121

3 1/2 Credits                     36 Hours




Office Hours:


Class Times:

Steve Boddeker

Friday: 5:30 – 6 pm


Friday: 6 – 10 pm







This course is designed to acquaint students with the elements and practice of creative and critical thinking.  Topics include inductive vs. deductive reasoning, perception, problem solving, argument construction and analysis.  Upon completion of this course, students should be able to clarify and evaluate their thinking, create arguments based on sound principles and concepts, present their ideas more effectively, and effectively weigh arguments from others.




·         Thinking Critically, 7th Edition.  John Chaffee.  Houghton Mifflin Company:  Boston, MA, 2003.                     [0-618-21601-4]




Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:

1.        Identify those influences that have an effect on the way (s)he thinks about issues and problems,

2.        Contrast the differences between believing and knowing,

3.        Explain the differences between thinking and feeling,

4.        Identify the characteristics of critical thinkers as compared to those that don’t think critically,

5.        Recognize and correct vague and coercive language, propaganda, and fallacies,

6.        Employ problem solving strategies,

7.        Recognize effective vs. ineffective problem-solving attitudes, and initiate effective methods of resolution

8.        Use solution-generating techniques to overcome mental blocks,

9.        Recognize and challenge concepts,

10.     Adapt and form new concepts,

11.     Understand the implications of relevance, perception, reactions, and procedure

12.     Construct persuasive arguments,

13.     Judge and improve own thinking and writing processes,

14.     Employ decision-making strategies and evaluation techniques,

15.     Evaluate the various kinds of evidence that can be acquired, with respect to accuracy/bias,

16.     Evaluate the sufficiency of presented evidence



Lecture, class discussion, individual/group activities, projects, oral presentations.



Activities / Assignments                                          30 %                       (15 min to 2 hr per week)

In Class Activities                                                     30 %                       (3 to 10 per 4 hr session)

Research Project Report                                           20 %

Experiment Presentation                                           20 %
















































59 & below











A student who is more than 10 minutes late to class is considered to be tardy to that class.  The amount of time the student is late is recorded on the class attendance roster.  Absenteeism and accumulated tardiness may result in grade point reduction, possible failure of a course, or dismissal.  In the event of an absence or tardy attendance, all missed work must be made up.  Students who are habitually absent from any class will be advised by the Student Services Department and Program Director, and may be placed on attendance probation. 

-  Students who are absent more than two consecutive calendar weeks (Monday through Sunday) in which at least one day of instruction was scheduled will be dropped from the course. 

-  Students who miss 25% of the scheduled hours of a class will be subject to withdrawal from the class. 

The Program Director, Director of Education or other designated officials can initiate dropping a student from class.  These changes in student status will be documented on a Student Activity Report (SAR).




Assigned work and tests:
All assignments must be completed and turned in on the day assigned for full credit.
All homework is due at the beginning of the following class period.



1.     Read assigned text before class.

2.     Complete Assigned Materials and turn in during class when due.



All students will participate in the activities during class.  Activities include materials from books, activities suggested by students, extra activities by instructor, etc.


Activity Presentation: (optional for bonus)

Every student may lead one 5 to 10 minutes class lecture with a maximum of 1 presentation per 50 minutes of class lecture.  Presentation style is completely student chosen (i.e. Power Point, hand outs, overheads, etc.)


Final Presentation:

Every student will present their chosen research topic on the last night of class.  Presentation must include the following sections: purpose of choosing particular topic, highlights of literature review, surprising facts during research, encountered roadblocks and how overcome, etc.


Students are to bring to every class the text, writing paper, and a writing instrument.


Missed Assignments:
It is the responsibility of the student to contact the teacher to make arrangements for obtaining handouts and completing missing assignments and tests.  It is highly recommended that students make arrangements with others in the class to obtain information regarding missed assignments and notes. Missed work generally is the activities dictated by the book.


Late Work:
Missed assignments, quizzes, & tests without written emergency or medical excuses will not be accepted.  Notifying the instructor in writing (i.e. EMAIL) twenty-four hour before the due date may lessen credit reductions.  Medical excuses and extenuating circumstances must be documented in writing to the satisfaction of the instructor.  Final determinations of make-up work will be made on an individual bases with the student and instructor.

All Late work is DUE the class period following the absence.  Weekly schedule includes all assignments.






HUM400             Creative and Critical Thinking          Mar 2005



Week 1: March 18

Ch 1: Thinking                                                                                        p. 1 – 49

              Living and Examined Life                                            Thinking Activity 1.1 – Analyzing a Goal that you Achieved

              Working Toward Goals                                               Thinking Activity 1.2 – Analyzing an Important Future Goal

                                                                             Thinking Passage – Questions for Analysis

              Making Decisions                                                        Thinking Activity 1.3 – Analyzing a Previous Decision

              Organized Approach to Making Decisions             Thinking Activity 1.4 – Analyzing a Future Decision

              Deciding on a Career                                                   Thinking Activity 1.5 – Thinking About Your Career Plans

                                                                                                      Thinking Activity 1.6 – Describing Your Dream Job

                                                                             Thinking Activity 1.7 – Identifying Your Interests

                                                                             Thinking Activity 1.8 – Identifying Your Abilities

              Analyzing Issues                                                         Thinking Activity 1.9 – Analyzing Your Verdict

              Final Thoughts                                                             Chapter Review – Questions for Analysis


Ch 2: Thinking Critically                                                                p. 50 – 101

                        Intro                                                                                Thinking Activity 2.1 – Who is a Critical Thinker?

                        Thinking Actively                                                        Thinking Activity 2.2 – Influences on Our Thinking

                        Carefully Exploring Situations w/Questions     Thinking Activity 2.3 – Analyzing a Complex Issue

                        Thinking Independently                                             Thinking Activity 2.4 – Evaluating Your Beliefs

                        Viewing Situations w/Different Perspectives          Thinking Activity 2.5 – Analyzing a Belief from Different Perspectives

                                                                                                Thinking Activity 2.6 – Writing from Interactive Perspectives

                        Supporting Diverse Perspectives w/Reason           Thinking Activity 2.7 – Analyzing Different Sides of an Issue

                                                                        Thinking Activity 2.8 – Analyzing Different Perspectives

                        Discussing Ideas in an Organized Way                   Thinking Activity 2.9 – Creating a Dialog

                        Becoming a Critical Thinker                       

                        Creating a Thinking World                                         Thinking Passages – Questions for Analysis

                                                                                                Chapter Review – Questions for Analysis


Week 2: March 25

Ch 3: Solving Problems                                                                                p. 102 – 145

                        Thinking Critically about Problems                          

                        Intro to Solving Problems                  Thinking Activity 3.1 – Analyzing a Problem You Solved

                        Solving Complex Problems                                         Thinking Activity 3.2 – Analyzing an Unsolved Problem

                                                                                                                Thinking Activity 3.3 – Analyzing College Problems

                        Solving Non-Personal Problems                        Thinking Activity 3.4 – Analyzing Social Problems

                                                                                 Two Ά summary: A Psychologist’s View of Prejudice/Stereotypes (141-145)


Ch 4: Perceiving                                                                                                p. 146 – 192

                        Actively Selecting, Organizing, Interpret Thinking Activity 4.1 – Analyzing Perceptions

                                                                                       Thinking Activity 4.2 – Analyzing Perceptions

                        What Factors Shape Perceptions?            Thinking Activity 4.3 – Thinking Critically About My Perceiving Lenses

                                                                                    Thinking Activity 4.4 – Analyzing Varied Accounts of Assassination Malcolm X

                                                                                    Thinking Activity 4.5 – Analyzing Varied Accounts of the 2001 WTC Attacks

                        Thinking Critically About Perceptions                     Thinking Activity 4.6 – Describing a Shaping Experience

                                                                                        Thinking Activity 4.7 – Analyzing Stereotypes

                                                                                            Thinking Passages – Plato’s Allegory of the Cave

                                                                                            Thinking Passages – Perceptions of Patriotism


Week 3: April 1

Ch 5: Believing and Knowing                                                                     p. 193 - 248    

Believing and Perceiving                                    Thinking Activity 5.1 – Analyzing a False Perception

Believing and Knowing                                       Thinking Activity 5.2 – Evaluating the Accuracy of Beliefs

                                                                                                Thinking Passage – Is the Earth Round or Flat?

Knowledge and Truth                                         Thinking Activity 5.3 – What Stage of Knowing Am I In?

Week 3 Continued to Next Page


Thinking Critically About Your Beliefs            Thinking Activity 5.4 – Surveying Your Beliefs

                                                                        Thinking Activity 5.5 – Evaluating My Beliefs

Perspective-Taking to Achieve Knowledge    Thinking Activity 5.6 – Analyzing Accounts of Confrontation at Tiananmen Square

                                                                                                Thinking Activity 5.7 – Analyzing Different Accounts of a Current Event

Beliefs Based on Direct Experience                   Thinking Activity 5.8 – Analyzing a Changed Belief

                                                                                                Thinking Passage – Why I Quit the Klan

Beliefs Based on Indirect Experience                Thinking Activity 5.9 – Evaluating Different Perspectives

Final Thoughts                                                     Thinking Activity 5.10 – Analyzing Accounts of Dropping Atom Bomb on Japan


Ch 6: Language and Thought                                                                     p. 249 - 309    

The Evolution of Language

The Symbolic Nature of Language                    Thinking Activity 6.1 – The Language of War

                                                                        Thinking Activity 6.2 – Understanding Nonsense Words

                                                                        Thinking Activity 6.3 – The Language of Cloning

Using Language Effectively                               Thinking Passage – Blue Highways

                                                                        Thinking Activity 6.4 – Communicating and Experience


Week 4: April 8

Ch 6: Language and Thought                                                                     p. 249 - 309

Using Language to Clarify Thinking Thinking Activity 6.5 – Reviewing a Movie

                                                                                                Thinking Passage – An Account of Avianca Flight 52

Using Language in Social Contexts                  Thinking Activity 6.6 – Thinking About Slang

                                                                        Thinking Activity 6.7 – Analyzing Language Uses

Using Language to Influence                             Thinking Activity 6.8 – Analyzing Euphemisms

                                                                                        Thinking Activity 6.9 – Analyzing Emotive Language

                                                                                                Thinking Passages – Persuading with Political Speeches

Final Thoughts                                                     Thinking Passage – Gender Differences in Language

Ch 7: Forming and Applying Concepts                                                  p. 310 - 355    

What Are Concepts?                                           Thinking Activity 7.1 – Forming New Concepts Through Experience

The Structure of Concepts                                 Thinking Activity 7.2 – Diagramming the Structure of Concepts

Forming Concepts                                                Thinking Activity 7.3 – Forming New Concepts Through Generalizing/Interpreting

Applying Concepts                                             Thinking Passages – Femininity and Masculinity

Defining Concepts                                               Thinking Activity 7.4 – Analyzing the Concept of Responsibility

                                                                                                Thinking Passage – Identify Yourself: Who’s American?

Relating Concepts with Mind Maps                 Thinking Activity 7.5 – Using Mind Maps to Organize Your Thinking

Final Thoughts                                                     Thinking Passage – What is Religion


Week 5: April 15

Ch 8: Relating and Organizing                                                                 p. 356 - 403    

Chronological and Process Relationships       Thinking Passage – Back, but Not Home

                                                                                                Thinking Activity 8.1 – Creating a Narrative Description

                                                                                                Thinking Activity 8.2 – Analyzing Process Relationships

                                                                                                Thinking Activity 8.3 – Creating a Process Description

Comparative and Analogical Relationships     Thinking Activity 8.4 – Analyzing Comparative Relationships

                                                                                                Thinking Activity 8.5 – Analyzing Analogical Relationships

                                                                                                Thinking Activity 8.6 – Creating Analogies to Capture Life

Causal Relationships                                           Thinking Activity 8.7 – Creating a Causal Chain

                                                                                                Thinking Activity 8.8 – Creating a Scenario of Contributory Causes

                                                                                                Visual Thinking – The Birds & the Bees, the Flowers & the Trees

                                                                                                Thinking Activity 8.9 – Analyzing Causal Relationships

Thinking Critically About Human Relationships

Thinker’s Guide to Healthy Relationships       Thinking Activity 8.10 – Improving Your Relationships

Final Thoughts                                                     Thinking Passages – Mate Selection and Marriage


Ch 9: Reporting, Inferring, and Judging                                              p. 404 - 447    

Intro                                                                        Thinking Activity 9.1 – Identifying Reports, Inferences, & Judgments

Reporting Factual Information                           Thinking Activity 9.2 – Evaluating Factual Information

                                                                                                Looking Critically – “Real” and Manipulated Images in Film

                                                                        Thinking Passage – The End of My Childhood

Problem Statement (or Hypothesis) Due Today

Week 6: April 22

Ch 9: Reporting, Inferring, and Judging                                              p. 404 - 447    

Inferring                                                                 Thinking Activity 9.3 – Analyzing an Incorrect Inference

Judging                                                                  Thinking Activity 9.4 – Analyzing Judgments

                                                                        Thinking Activity 9.5 – Analyzing Moral Dilemmas

                                                                        Visual Thinking – “What Homeless Person”

                                                                        Thinking Activity 9.6 – Nurturing Your Moral Growth

Final Thoughts                                                     Thinking Passage – Evolution as Fact & Theory

Ch 10: Constructing Arguments                                                  p. 448 - 502    

Recognizing Arguments                                     Thinking Activity 10.1 – Identifying Arguments with Cue Words

                                                                                                Thinking Passages – Legalizing Drugs

       Evaluating Arguments                                        Thinking Activity 10.2 – Evaluating the Truth of Reasons

Understanding Deductive Arguments             Thinking Activity 10.3 – Evaluating Arguments

Constructing Extended Arguments                   Thinking Activity 10.4 – Composing an Extended Argument

Final Thoughts                                                     Thinking Passages – Human Cloning

          Literature Review Due Today     (Please include rough draft of Reference Page)

Week 7: April 29

Ch 11: Reasoning Critically                                                                       p. 503 - 569    

Inductive Reasoning

Empirical Generalization                                      Thinking Activity 11.1 – Evaluating Inductive Arguments

Fallacies of False Generalization                        Thinking Activity 11.2 – Designing a Poll

                                                                                                Thinking Passage – Detecting Fallacies of False Generalization

Causal Reasoning                                                                Thinking Activity 11.3 – Applying the Scientific Method

                                                                                                Thinking Activity 11.4 – Evaluating Experimental Results

                                                                                                Thinking Activity 11.5 – Designing a Scientific Experiment

                                                                                                Thinking Passages – Researching Cures and Prevention

                                                                                                Thinking Passage – Treating Breast Cancer

Causal Fallacies                                                    Visual Thinking – Slipping and Sliding

Fallacies of Relevance                                         Thinking Activity 11.6 – Identifying Fallacies

Critical Thinker’s Guide to Reasoning              Thinking Activity 11.7 – Applying the “Guide to Reasoning”

                                                                                                Thinking Passage – Critical Thinking and Obedience to Authority

      Methodology Due Today       (include how collect data AND analyze data)

Week 8: May 6

Ch 12: Thinking Critically, Living Creatively                                  p. 570 – 607

                     Living Creatively                                                  Thinking Activity 12.1 – Describe Your Current and Future Self

                                                                                                Visual Thinking – “Expect the Unexpected” – Heraclitus

                                                                                                Thinking Activity 12.2 – Describing a Creative Area

                                                                                                Thinking Activity 12.3 – Identifying Creative Blocks

                                                                                                Thinking Activity 12.4 – Combating the “Voice of Criticism”

                                                                                                Thinking Activity 12.5 – Becoming More Creative

                     Living a Life Philosophy                                     Thinking Passage – Original Spin

      Research project Peer Review (Problem Statement, Lit Review, Methods, Data, Initial Results)

Week 9: May 13

                        Research Project Presentation (& Submit Final Research Paper)



My own notes:        Preferably not given to students, the weekly schedule includes these sections

                                It may be preferable to push up the schedule for problem statement, etc


Problem statement included in intro                                                                    10/10

Lit Review                                                                                                              10/10

Reference Page (Work Cited) w/citations in Lit Review                                  20/20

Methodology: How to collect data                                                                        10/10

Methodology: How to analyze data                                                                      10/10

Data Section (explanations w/tables, graphs, charts, etc)                                               30/30

Results    (must also include paragraphs)                                                             10/10