This web site provides personal, practical, and published materials collected to help you cultivate critical thinking skills in your students, especially first-year students.

How these materials are organized

These materials are contained in 14 modules--ten focused on specific critical thinking skills, and four on specific teaching methods. These modules are then categorized using Halpern's (2003) framework for teaching critical thinking skills across disciplines. According to this framework, well-rounded critical thinking instruction helps students acquire:

  1. a critical thinking attitude or habit of intellectual deliberation;

  2. individual intellectual skills like analysis and inference;

  3. the ability to use these skills in new contexts, and

  4. the ability to reflect upon and evaluate one's own thinking (metacognition).

Site Organization Chart

In each module, you will find:

  • a definition and exploration -- for example, what exactly we mean when we say "analysis" and what others have to say about it;

  • an annotated bibliography -- books, web-sites, and scholarly journal articles related to that aspect of critical thinking;

  • practical tips and activities -- descriptions of things you can do in your class to stimulate specific critical thinking skills;

  • real classroom footage -- teachers at UT Austin putting their favorite techniques to use;

  • reflective commentaries -- what these teachers have learned works from their own experience.

  • Teaching critical thinking means giving students intentional challenges and supportive practice overcoming those challenges using specific intellectual skills. Equipping you with insights and tools to help your students through this process is the purpose of these modules.

    Use the links at the top of the page to navigate and begin!


    Halpern, D.F. (2003). Thought and knowledge: An introduction to critical thinking (4th Edition). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.