(Online) Engaging Your Critical Thinking Skills




Critical thinking is a learnable skill that will develop your ability to question assumptions, build constructive arguments, solve problems and negotiate positive relationships. In today’s world of informational overload, it is also a powerful way to increase your 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.*

This online professional development workshop includes two meetings where we will learn and practice every aspect of critical thinking in a fun and supportive atmosphere. The two main aspects of critical thinking are covered in detail, first the perceptual aspect of critical thinking, followed by the rational aspect in the second class. There will be some optional practice activities provided between classes to sharpen your skills. The material is cumulative, meaning that the new material in the second session builds on what is learned in the first, leading to a full understanding and toolkit for application in nearly any situation. A third, optional meeting is offered as a bonus practice session at the end of the course, but no new material will be introduced at that time.

Critical thinking can improve your ability to make decisions, solve problems, advocate for a cause and communicate more effectively in your personal and professional relationships. All you need is an open mind, your natural curiosity and a willingness to step back and reflect.

This program is being offered by the UMaine Hutchinson Center and the UMaine Business School.

 *New study: 42 percent of U.S. managers think robotics, automation will be job-killers. (2018, Jul 17). The Public Record, 42, 2.                                           


Fri., June 17
8:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m. ET

Register here.


This dynamic, interactive program will be offered synchronously via Zoom—you’ll need access to a stable internet connection. This is not a pre-recorded program. Active participation is an integral part of the course.

The Hutchinson Center has a limited number of computers (and plenty of Wi-Fi to go around). If you’d like to participate virtually via the Hutchinson Center, please request support via the form here.

PROGRAM BENEFITS                                             

Through participating in this online course, you will learn to:                                                            

  • Generate creative solutions to difficult problems and collaborate to find solutions
  • Present your perspective clearly and powerfully while supporting others to do the same
  • Make clearer decisions that stand up over time
  • Identify assumptions behind an argument
  • Discriminate between facts and arbitrary statements


  • Critical Thinking overview
  • Working with perceptions and emotions
  • Unpacking assumptions
  • Active listening
  • The elements of cognitive reasoning
  • How to build an argument
  • Decision making and problem-solving
  • Setting goals and strategies
  • Understanding bias and how to address it
  • The holistic application of critical thinking



This online professional development workshop will benefit those in social and human services, therapists/social workers/clinicians, businesses of all types, government officials, students, and anyone with a desire to achieve greater effectiveness and satisfaction in their communications.

The online format of this course makes it possible for participants from across the globe to participate. A stable internet connection and the ability to participate in these synchronous sessions as they are happening is required.

Not sure if this program is right for you? Contact us at um.fhc.pd@maine.edu or 207.338.8002 and we can help you figure it out.


Terry Porter Headshot Black and WhiteTerry Porter, Ph.D. (she/her/hers) is Associate Professor Emerita at the University of Maine, where she taught business strategy and sustainability in the Maine Business School for 13 years. Dr. Porter also holds an MA in Clinical Psychology and is a certified mental health counselor. She is a 2014 Fulbright Scholar. Terry has over thirty years’ experience as a teacher, counselor, coach, guide and facilitator.        



Click here for more information about paying for your professional development, including information about need-based scholarships, group discounts and tips on how to get your employer on board.

Current UMaine students are eligible for a 20% discount. Use code STUDENT20 at checkout.


Live via Zoom (course runs synchronously)




.7 CEUs/7 contact hours

Certificate of completion for completing the entirety of this 5-hour course

For more information or to request an accommodation contact Michelle Patten, Conference and Professional Development Coordinator, um.fhc.pd@maine.edu; 207.338.8002.

"I will bring these tools back to my current job and look for opportunities to question assumptions/premises." past participant
"The lessons I learned in Critical Thinking have helped me to be more productive and thorough in my decision-making." past participant

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