Critical Thinking Lab
"Thinking is an action. For all aspiring intellectuals, thoughts are the laboratory where one goes to pose questions and find answers, and the place where visions of theory and praxis come together. The heartbeat of critical thinking is the longing to know—to understand how life works."
— bell hooks, Teaching Critical Thinking: Practical Wisdom (2010).
What is the Critical Thinking Lab?
At the Critical Thinking Lab, you can expect an individualized session with a trained critical thinking consultant for help with any Philosophy or Philosophy, Politics and Law assignment.
What We Do
We are here to develop your best thinking. Whether you are a beginning student or advanced, the Critical Thinking Lab can help you with your essays, summaries, formal arguments, speeches, presentations, and application materials. We recognize that critical thinking takes many forms—writing, speaking, listening—and occurs at all stages of the creation process—questioning, analyzing, brainstorming, synthesizing, outlining, articulating, and revising. Visit us, and we'll think about your work together.
Think out-loud in a face-to-face consultation at the Critical Thinking Lab. Walk in to be seated as soon as possible or make an appointment online. Consultations are roughly 40 minutes and take place in the Library Tower 1205.
SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION
Use Starfish to schedule your consultation. You can access Starfish from the MyBinghamton page under "Useful Links" on the Left-Hand side.
How to Make the Most of Your Consultation
Work hard to understand the material first. Where applicable, grapple with any assigned readings and texts before your consultation. Our consultants come from diverse backgrounds, but they may not be familiar with the content of your paper or project.
Prepare to think. Come in with a sense of what part of the thinking process you want to focus on—i.e. brainstorming, organization, revising, etc.
Plan time for revision. Set aside time after your appointment to reflect, revise, and ask follow-up questions as you develop your thinking further.
Meet early in the semester and visit often. Developing your critical thinking will take time, practice, and ongoing effort. Be patient with yourself, ask questions, and your thinking will improve.
Visit us in the Philosophy Department, Library Tower 1205.
Guides for Students
- A Brief Guide to Constructing Thesis Statements and Introductions
- How to Interpret a Writing Assignment
Who Are We?
Katrina England is a Ph.D. student in the Social, Political, Ethical and Legal (SPEL) Philosophy program. Her current research focuses on normative ethics and philosophy of education. Her interest in critical thinking began as a student in the interdisciplinary Honors Program and as a McNair Scholar at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah. Katrina founded the Critical Thinking Lab to empower students to pursue lifelong learning, and create a vibrant community space for Philosophy and PPL students.
Our consultants are undergraduate Philosophy and/or PPL majors with special training in critical thinking pedagogy. They are experienced, curious, and excited to work with you.
Winter Clark is a senior double majoring in political sociology (through the Individualized Major Program) and philosophy. Their interests within philosophy include logic, value theory, philosophy of education, and philosophy of law. You may recognize Winter from the College Progressives, Democracy Matters, or the Piano Society. During their free time, Winter enjoys playing the piano and gaming. They intend to pursue a dual degree program for a J.D. and an M.A. in philosophy.
Seth Rosenberg is a senior pre-law student majoring in PPL. His interests within philosophy include the interrelation between ethics and the economic marketplace as well as the general relation between the academic fields of philosophy and law. Seth is originally from Valley Stream, New York and hopes to attend law school upon graduation in pursuit of a career in law.
Anna Tsvetkov is a senior majoring in Philosophy from Brooklyn, NY. She is interested principally in the philosophy of mind. Her other interests include epistemology, metaphysics, and the history of philosophy. On campus, Anna is a teaching assistant for Plato and Aristotle. She is also a research assistant in a cognitive psychology lab and the student leader of a global justice project. She hopes to successfully apply to graduate programs this year.