Online Critical Thinking workshop offered in February

Fri, 01/15/2021 - 10:35am

Belfast, Maine — Registration is open for an online professional development workshop, Engaging Your Critical Thinking Skills, offered Feb. 19 and Feb. 26 through the University of Maine Hutchinson Center in Belfast and the UMaine Business School.

The two-day online program, part of the Hutchinson Center’s professional development program, will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. via Zoom. The cost is $150 per person and need-based scholarships are available. More information is available on the Hutchinson Center website.

With so many of our interactions being virtual or socially distanced, we lack the cues typically relied on to communicate. Under these circumstances, the risk of miscommunication multiplies. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we fail to get our point across; we are unable to rebut an argument; a problem we think we’ve solved comes right back; or we feel unheard and unable to constructively hear others. These are among the common issues in communication, and all can be addressed using critical thinking skills.

Critical thinking is a learnable skill that develops our ability to question assumptions, build constructive arguments, solve problems, and negotiate positive personal and professional relationships. In today’s world of informational overload, it also is a powerful way to increase our capacity for effective, directed action. Employers note that critical thinking is a necessary skill for employees to successfully bridge the gap between technical information and customer needs in all sectors, currently lacking in up to 40% of new hires.

The Hutchinson Center’s online critical thinking workshop will benefit those in social and human services, businesses and nonprofits, government employees, students, and anyone with a desire to achieve greater effectiveness and satisfaction in their communications. No previous experience is necessary. The online format of this program makes it possible for participants worldwide to enroll. Stable internet connection and the ability to participate in these synchronous sessions as they are happening are required.

Instructor Terry Porter, UMaine associate professor emerita, taught business strategy and sustainability in the Maine Business School for 13 years. Porter also is a certified mental health counselor and a 2014 Fulbright Scholar. She has over 30 years of experience as a teacher, counselor, coach, guide and facilitator.        

Participants will receive a certificate of completion, and 0.75 CEUs/7.5 contact hours are available.

For information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Michelle Patten, um.fhc.pd@maine.edu; 207.338.8002. For more information about upcoming professional development programs or to register, go online. Early registration is recommended as spots are limited. A limited number of need-based scholarships are available for people who live or work in Knox or Waldo County.

About the Hutchinson Center:

The Hutchinson Center is an outreach center for the University of Maine in Orono, that serves as an educational and cultural center for the midcoast area. It is named for University of Maine President Emeritus Frederick E. Hutchinson. The mission of the Hutchinson Center is to broaden access to University of Maine academic and non-degree programs and services, lifelong learning opportunities, and professional and career development experiences using innovative approaches that increase synergy among University of Maine System entities, University of Maine departments and divisions, and that engage a wider Maine community. 

About the University of Maine: 

The University of Maine, founded in Orono in 1865, is the state's land grant, sea grant and space grant university. It is located on Marsh Island in the homeland of the Penobscot Nation.  As Maine's flagship public university, UMaine has a statewide mission of teaching, research and economic development, and community service. UMaine is the state's only public research university and among the most comprehensive higher education institutions in the Northeast. It attracts students from all 50 states and more than 70 countries. UMaine currently enrolls 11,561 undergraduate and graduate students who have opportunities to participate in groundbreaking research with world-class scholars. UMaine offers more than 100 degree programs through which students can earn master's, doctoral or professional science master's degrees, as well as graduate certificates. The university promotes environmental stewardship, with substantial efforts campuswide to conserve energy, recycle and adhere to green building standards in new construction. For more information about UMaine, visit umaine.edu.