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Peter Facione  

Author, Consultant

He is a board member of the American Association of College's and University's Project on Health and Higher Education. In 2000, Peter served as a member of the American Council on Education's President's Task Force on Teacher Education. In 1999, he was the national president of the American Conference of Academic Deans.

Professor Facione maintains an active writing and research agenda, with over 100 publications including essays, books, articles, case studies, and testing tools. His latest work is on cognitive heuristics and building thinking leadership teams. Since 1986, he has been a Senior Research Associate and the CEO of the California Academic Press LLC.

Dr. Facione joined Santa Clara University in 1990, where he served for 12 years as Dean of the College of Artsand Sciences. At Santa Clara, he also served as Dean of the Graduate Division of Counseling Psychology and Education from 1996 to 2001. Dr. Facione was a Scholar of the University's Markkula Center for Applied Ethics until his departure for Loyola in 2002. Dr. Facione earned his Ph.D. in 1971 from Michigan State University in philosophy.

Because of his work on decision-making, critical thinking, and collaborative leadership, Dr. Facione is frequently invited as a keynote speaker and to present workshops at national conferences and on university campuses. He has consulted with the U.S. Government, Los Alamos National Labs, education agencies of several states, private industry, and professional associations. Dr. Facione has presented workshops at scores of professional schools, liberal arts colleges, and comprehensive and research universities throughout the nation. His most frequently requested workshop and conversation topics include those on institutional decision-making, academic leadership, and ways of teaching for critical thinking.

Facione is nationally and internationally known for his work on the definition and measurement of those skills and habits of mind that are at the core of human decision making and professional judgment what academics often call critical thinking. His research on teaching and assessing reasoned judgment began in 1967. Just over 20 years later, Dr. Facione was the lead investigator on an international research project that articulated a cross-disciplinary expert consensus regarding the skills and habits of mind that constitute college level critical thinking. That research, which was sponsored by the American Philosophical Association, has formed the basis for numerous academic replication studies and government policy studies about critical thinking in the workplace, including research sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education.

Dr. Facione and his research colleagues have authored several research papers, books, and reasoning measurement tools for different educational and professional levels and purposes. Among these are the California Critical Thinking Skills Test, the California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory, the Test of Everyday Reasoning, the California Measure of Mental Motivation, the Professional Judgment Rating Form, and the California Reasoning Appraisal. In collaboration with a multi-disciplinary team of colleagues, Dr. Facione is currently exploring the implications of cognitive heuristics for effective decision-making, leadership, and negotiation in individual and group contexts. Through the California Academic Press, the research team's ground-breaking theoretical and scientific work on the analysis, development, and measurement of the thinking habits of mind and cognitive skills continues with new teaching and testing tools for use in university, pre-college, and workplace settings.


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Speech Topics

What Were We Thinking?” - Seven Simple Strategies for Successful Decision Making

From warfare to health care, timely, informed, thoughtful and adaptive decision making is the key to success in every professional endeavor. In our businesses, as in our personal lives, with so much at stake and with so many unknowns, decision making can at times be daunting, risky and uncertain. Lives and fortunes can be on the line. Drawing on decades of work with the military, business, government, health care and higher education, Dr. Facione presents seven straightforward, practical strategies which individuals and groups can employ to improve their decision making. With video clips, mini cases, and interactive examples he illustrates the strategies and shows how each is connected to what science tells us about how human beings actually make decisions. Mindful of these strategies we are then able to reduce mistakes, improve decision making processes, and foster a culture of reasoned and informed decision making where we live and where we work.

Critical Thinking: What It Is and Why It Counts.

Because professional staff and leaders at all levels must constantly solve problems and make good decisions, employers today seek to hire people with strong critical thinking. At every level of education, from K-12 through college, and in every professional field from law and government to health care, engineering, and the military people are concerned to develop stronger critical thinking. But some ask, why the word “critical?” Others ask, whether this is something people can actually learn, teach, and measure. And still others ask, what if we do not agree on an idea, does that make one of us a weak critical thinker? To answer these questions and many others Dr. Facione’s draws his decades of experience measuring, researching, and teaching critical thinking. In his clear, commonsense and entertaining way of explains how critical thinking is connected to problem-solving and decision-making in everyday life, and he offers practical suggestions for how to reinforce and improve critical thinking skills and habits of mind.

Why We Make Mistakes and What We Can Do About It.

High stakes decision making is complex enough. Add the elements of risk and uncertainty and making mistakes can mean disaster. From Homer Simpson to Dilbert’s co-workers our popular culture shows us the humor and the cost of poor decision making at home and at work. But why do we humans make poor decisions even when we have lots of information at hand? And what can we do about to improve our decision making? Dr. Facione uses humor and expertise to illustrate how the misapplication of our shared human reactive thinking mechanisms leads individuals and groups to err. He offers practical techniques that enable you to recognize the threats posed by some of the most dangerous sources of human decision making error. And he describes workable strategies groups and individuals can use to protect against or mitigate these hazards.

Life Lessons Learned Teaching for Thinking.

Research shows that children and adults can strengthen their critical thinking skills and habits of mind. But, as many already educators know, gains in critical thinking do not happen simply by chance, nor as a natural by-product of age or time spent in school. The teaching techniques make the difference. The good news is that the most powerful teaching strategies can be applied in all subject fields and used with students of all ages. For more than 40 years, Dr. Facione’s scholarly work has focused on teaching and measuring critical thinking in programs from K-12 through graduate and professional school. Using humor, practical examples, and straightforward terminology, Dr. Facione shares some life lessons learned and demonstrates effective techniques educators at all levels can use when teaching for thinking.

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