Category: Events

The First European Summit for Critical Thinking Education in Leuven, Belgium

With more than 200 participants from around 33 countries of all the 6 continents of the globe, the First European Summit for Critical Thinking Education was hosted by our partners from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven) and UC Leuven-Limburg (UCLL) on the 3rd of June 2019 in Leuven, Belgium.

With different practical activities, the summit started with an official opening reflection on the need and importance of critical thinking for today’s societies and higher education institutions by the Head of the UCLL, Marc Vandewalle. The second session, led by Professors Caroline Dominguez (UTAD) and Jan Elen (KU Leuven), intended to briefly present the CRITHINKEDU project and the CRITHINKEDU educational protocol to the audience, the last one as a guiding tool to implement critical thinking educational practices within higher education institutions. Followed a keynote speech intitled “Critical Thinking: Avoiding the pitfalls and glimpsing the possibilities” was addressed by the Emeritus Professor of the University College London (UK), Ronald Barnett.

Thirteen workshops prepared by the CRITHINKEDU partners were distributed in two parallel sessions. Participants had the opportunity to carry-out different type of activities (debates, hands-on, presentations, etc.) on specific topics related to critical thinking education like: the use of case studies for critical thinking development, the design of effective learning environments, the relation between critical thinking and information literacy, among others. A final keynote speech entitled “Embracing Universal Principles of Critical Thinking Across Education to Advance Human Societies” was addressed by Dr. Linda Elder and Dr. Gerald Nosich the Critical Thinking Foundation (USA).

The summit ended by different representatives from labor market, universities, policy agencies and other associations (OECD, UNESCO, among others) taking a stance for the future of critical thinking in Higher Education in Europe. They were challenged to present the reasons behind their signature of the “Manifesto on Critical Thinking Education”, a practical and very short version of  the CRITHINKEDU educational protocol. They were followed by the participants of the audience. You can read the manifesto and decide to join the many who have already signed it at

The different presentations of the parallel sessions will be available soon in our website at

You can see some photos of the summit in our Facebook page at

We want to thank all the cooperation and effort of the different participants, invited speakers, partners responsible for the parallel sessions and local organizers who turned this day into a successful event, gathering in Europe the community interested in the field of critical thinking education. A special thanks to the Foundation of Critical Thinking (USA) which joined us in the organization of this event and which moved its 39th International Conference to Leuven this year. This allowed many participants to spend a whole week (summit + conference) reflecting on “critical thinking” important matters.

Keep in touch and get updated on further initiatives around the CRITHINKEDU manifesto, educational protocol and network!


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UTAD challenges students, teachers and labor market representatives to think critically and creatively about the problems of the 21st century

How can we solve real world problems in a critical and creative manner?

It was the challenge that Portuguese team presented to around 150 students of different universities and schools, 30 teachers and 8 labor market representatives from different professional sectors, namely health, engineering, tourism, among others. The event consisted in a kind of “ideas contest” in which participants had to use critical and creative thinking skills for real-world problem-solving. This day was expected to raise the participants’ awareness on the importance of critical and creative thinking in current society, promote the practice of critical and creative thinking in a systematic and structured way, and support the solving of real-world problems and sustained decision making.

With different practical activities, more than 30 multidisciplinary groups worked on current problems/situations – like the isolation and desertification of the Portuguese interior, the inclusion of alternative therapies in the Portuguese national health service, the invasive advertising and its effects on online privacy, migration, among others – suggested by the labor market representatives that assumed the role of facilitators and consultants during the event. For each problem/situation, the different groups presented their solutions and/or decisions to a smaller audience and the best ones were awarded with the possibility of presenting a special speech/presentation for the whole audience.

We want to thank all the cooperation and effort of the different students, teachers, and labor market representatives for their active and enthusiastic engagement in the different activities of the event. Congratulations to the winners! 💡🏆🥇👏

You can see some photos of the event in our Facebook page at, or a short interview to UTAD’s coordinator, Professor Caroline Dominguez, at (only available in Portuguese; starts at minute 4:05).


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The Thinkering workshop in Rome (Italy)

How to promote a critical use of technology and creativity within school and museum educational context?

It was the question that Italian team discussed with 19 participants from different backgrounds (primary and secondary school teachers, museum operators, educators and university students) in Rome, Italy. It emerged during the Thinkering workshop, organized by the University of Roma Tre team at Palazzo delle Esposizioni on the 29th of March 2019.

The workshop was composed by theoretical moments, practical activities, individual and group teaching and learning experiences. The Thinkering method consists in a new way of teaching science through play, making and creating objects. The everyday materials become precious tools to understand the world of science, mathematics and technology, a way to learn to “think with your own hands”.







ASE Bucuresti team at INTCESS 2019 in Dubai

Our team from ASE Bucuresti (Romania) has participated in the 6th International Conference on Education and Social Sciences (INTCESS 2019). The conference was hosted at the Atana Hotel, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, during 4-6 February 2019.

In the person of Professor Daniela Dumitru, the work entitled “Arts and Humanities as a source of Critical Thinking Development” was presented.

You can find the full version of the paper at


The Critical Thinking Day in Florina (Greece)

How do we understand the world around us?

It was the question that Greek team discussed with 96 student teachers of the University of Western Macedonia (UOWM), 8 administrative staff members of Educational Organizations and 12 teachers from local schools in Florina, Greece.  It emerged during the bootcamp “Critical Understanding in Science”, organized by the UOWM team and one group of student teachers from the 2nd level, on the 26th of February 2019.

The student teachers invited their peers of the 1st level to attend the event aiming at promoting their critical and scientific understanding of physical phenomena through hands-on activities. Different activities were carried-out, as: lecture on CT given by university teachers; short-film screening and discussion; and science fair/exhibition. The last activity consisted of the demonstration and experimentation of twenty exhibits of natural phenomena that were constructued by the 2nd-level student teachers during the autumn semester for the ‘Teaching Science’ module. They explained to their peers how the experiments work and then the visitors filled in a form to reflect on their critical understanding.

It was a great moment of learning among different students, teachers and labour market staff!





1st European Summit for Critical Thinking Education – Second Keynote Announced

Two of the world’s greatest experts in Critical Thinking, Linda Elder & Gerald Nosich, Senior Fellows of the Critical Thinking Foundation, USA, will be with us giving a keynote during the 1st European Summit for Critical Thinking Education:

Embracing Universal Principles of Critical Thinking Across Education to Advance Human Societies

The history of critical thinking reaches back to the time of Socrates, who attempted to develop universal principles of thought that could be applied across all human reasoning. Yet it wasn’t until the late 20th century that an explicit set of principles began to emerge in the field of critical thinking studies, largely based in the original thinking of Richard Paul (1937-2015), philosopher and eminent critical thinking authority.
These principles are essential to reasoning with skill and discipline within any domain of human thought. In this keynote address, by two of the world’s leading authorities on critical thinking, you will be introduced to some of these basic principles – namely focused on how to analyze thinking, how to assess it, and how to develop and foster intellectual virtues or dispositions.
At present, the foundations of critical thinking are largely ignored in schooling at all levels (despite educators’ many claims to the contrary); yet if we are to cultivate fairminded critical societies in the long term, ethical, or strong sense, critical thinking will eventually become central in the human conversation, and will be held up as an integrated set of values for all governments, schools, colleges, universities, military institutions, businesses, indeed all people, to embrace. It is essential for educators across the world to take the lead in this endeavor, embracing authentic, robust critical thinking as essential within their fields and therefore central to their instruction.

Don’t miss Linda and Gerald’s keynote! Register until May the 24th, 2019 (free of charge, but mandatory). You can find the registration form here:

Check the full program at:


1st European Summit for Critical Thinking Education – First Keynote Announced

One of the world’s greatest experts in Critical Thinking, Ron Barnett, Emeritus Professor at the University College London, UK, will be with us giving a keynote during the 1st European Summit for Critical Thinking Education:

Critical Thinking: Avoiding the pitfalls and glimpsing the possibilities

Most – though not all – are in favour of critical thinking but there is no consensus as to what is to count as critical thinking and it has become a contested concept: is it (a) an ease in certain kinds of logical argumentation? Is it (b) a matter of the skills involved in evaluating theories and evidence within a discipline? Is it (c) an ability to identify and to call out ‘fake news’ in the wider society? Is it (d) a propensity to spot and to be critical of inefficient work practices? Is it (e) a disposition to be self-critical and so exhibit what, for many, exemplifies a genuinely higher education? Is it (f) a willingness and the courage to hold the powerful – including the state if necessary – to account? These are profoundly different understandings of critical thinking and they spring from correspondingly different value positions as to the purposes of higher education. What, then, does it mean to incorporate critical thinking into higher education? In my talk, I want to discern pitfalls that lie ahead, in steering between the many different interpretations and purposes. There are a number of key distinctions that need to be made – for example, is critical thinking mainly a matter of attending to the curriculum (what is taught?) or to pedagogy (how is a programme of studies to be taught?). These are no merely technical considerations for the educational specialists but are crucial in bringing off new possibilities for critical thinking that may be emerging in the twenty-first century.

Don’t miss Ron Barnett’s keynote! Register until May the 24th, 2019 (free of charge, but mandatory). You can find the registration form here:

Check the full program at:


International Week on Critical Thinking in 2019


 Save the dates: from 3rd to 7th June 2019


The Erasmus+ project CRITHINKEDU – ‘Critical Thinking Across the European Higher Education Curricula‘ and the Foundation for Critical Thinking (USA) invite you for a unique week on Critical Thinking.

June 3rd: European Summit for Critical Thinking Education

The summit will unite researchers and lecturers from Higher Education Institutions, deans, student support agencies, policymakers and employers eager to invest in critical thinking education. This one-day meeting will challenge participants to take a stance for the future of critical thinking education in Europe. Registration is free of charge but mandatary. You can find more information here.

 June 4th to 7th: The 39th Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking

For 38 years, the Foundation for Critical Thinking has been working toward the advancement of critical societies. The Foundation is a non-profit organization that seeks to promote essential change in education and society throughout human societies, by cultivating explicit, systematic, fair-minded critical thinking – thinking which embodies intellectual empathy, intellectual humility, intellectual perseverance, intellectual integrity and intellectual responsibility. The Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking is the longest running conference on critical thinking in the world. You can find more information here.

Place to be: Leuven, Belgium

The KU Leuven and UCLL host this unique week on CT.

KU Leuven is the oldest university in Flanders. KU Leuven is dedicated to education and research in nearly all fields. Its fifteen faculties offer education, while research activities are organized by the departments and research groups. These faculties and departments, in turn, are clustered into three groups: Humanities and Social Sciences, Science, Engineering and Technology (SET), and Biomedical Sciences. Each of these groups has a doctoral school for its doctoral training programmes.

UCLL is one of the largest universities of applied sciences in Flanders, Belgium, with campuses in Leuven, Hasselt and Diest. It is a quality-minded institution which offers higher education, research and community service. UCLL organises 18 bachelor programmes and 13 advanced bachelors. It is home for more than 14 500 students. Moving Minds is our philosophy, our way of being. Moving Minds: motivating people and turning ideas into action. Our scope reaches beyond boarders, our mind is open toward what lies ahead, we encourage innovation and the challenging of fossilised systems/systems reluctant to change.

More information regarding the European Summit can be found here.

More information on the Annual International Conference is available at the website of the Foundation for Critical Thinking here.

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CRITHINKEDU at the OECD Headquarters in Paris

Our partners from Portugal and Romania participated in the first face-to-face meeting of the OECD project “Fostering and assessing students’ creative and critical thinking skills in teacher education”, held in Paris on the 6th and 7th of September 2018. Launched by the OECD Centre for Educational Research and Innovation, the project aims at building an international community of practice around teaching, learning and assessing creativity and critical thinking in higher education. It also aims at promoting quality Critical Thinking and Creativity teaching/learning practices

The meeting had the objective to clarify and share ideas on the project to the delegations gathered from all over the world and to assess their commitment to be full part of the project. Caroline Dominguez, as the Coordinator of the CRITHINKEDU project, shared her reflections to the participants with a presentation entitled “Lessons learnt from the CRITHINKEDU project“. Daniela Dumitru made a presentation entitled “Critical thinking and teaching critical thinking” on the theoretical foundation of the project.



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