Books Inc. Palo Alto proudly welcomes Louis Newman to the shop for a discussion and signing of his book Thinking Critically in College: The Essential Handbook for Student Success.
Almost all first-year college students discover that college courses are more academically challenging than they expected, and certainly harder than classes in high school. Professors expect students not just to absorb material, but to analyze and synthesize it, consider multiple perspectives, evaluate conflicting evidence, and then apply what they’ve learned in new contexts.
Thinking Critically in College explains how to do all this and more.
Written in a personal, engaging style, Thinking Critically in College explains how to do the work your professors will require—exactly the preparation you need, no matter what your academic background. Practical, accessible, comprehensive, and interactive, Thinking Critically in College is the definitive guide, not only for those in college or headed there, but for everyone who needs a refresher on thinking clearly.
—Jacques Steinberg, New York Times bestselling author of The Gatekeepers: Inside the Admissions Process of a Premier College and The College Conversation: A Practical Companion for Parents to Guide Their Children Along the Path to Higher Education
“There are more than a few ‘how to do college’ books, but none take a deep, informative dive into what it takes for college students to thrive academically and cultivate the habits of an educated mind. Newman offers a treasure trove of helpful examples to illustrate how undergraduates need to think and what they should do to effectively meet and benefit from the range of learning challenges they will encounter during and after college.”
—George D. Kuh, Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus of Higher Education, Indiana University
"Even students who have taken college-prep and AP courses are unprepared for the type of learning that will take place in college. Thinking Critically for College is poised to help all students at all types of institutions develop the dispositions and skills necessary for success in college.”
—Lynn Pasquerella, President of Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U)
“Thinking Critically for College fills a substantial need in higher education resources. The research is available, volumes have been written to support faculty in teaching students so that enduring learning occurs, and there are a growing number of how-to-learn courses in college. What’s missing is a book that speaks directly to our students as they launch their college careers. Thinking Critically for College is a needed resource and I can’t think of anyone better positioned to write this book than Louis Newman.”
—Susan Singer, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Rollins College
"Thinking Critically for College details and exemplifies the differences between high school and college. Students who read this book before coming to college will have an advantage over those who don’t. The book is an excellent candidate for colleges that assign ‘summer reads,’ or for extended orientation programs that have semester-long seminars or programming about the transition to college. Faculty teaching introductory courses or seminars designed for new students will want to assign this book. This unique primer on the college experience offers one-stop-shopping to faculty and students seeking practical advice about the transition to college."
—Lee Cuba, Professor of Sociology, Wellesley College; author of Practice for Life: Making Decisions in College
“Newman prepares incoming college students to get more out of their educations with this educational guide. . . . The author argues that the true value of attending college is the experience of learning new things, which will hopefully make the student a more thoughtful, versatile, and capable human being . . . Specifically, the author outlines the higher-order critical thinking skills that are essential for success in college and beyond. Newman refreshes skills related to reading, writing, quantitative reasoning, and research that students may have learned in high school but need updating for collegiate learning. He also offers sketches of various academic disciplines, providing samples of the prompts and assignments students might encounter within them. The idea is that, by the end of the book, an incoming college student will have picked up a number of skills it might otherwise take several semesters of trial and error to acquire.
The book is essentially pedagogical—it teaches the reader how to learn better. It’s a worthy endeavor and a valuable one for those industrious enough to make their way through these chapters. . . . Newman goes out of his way to demonstrate the thinking behind the concepts he discusses, opening the reader’s eyes (perhaps for the first time) to the reasons underlying the ways they have been and will be taught. The author provides numerous practice exercises to give the reader a taste of what they will encounter as well as sections in which to journal and consider their own interests and goals. . . . The question may be not whether the book will help students but whether readers will willingly read and internalize its lessons. Those who do will undoubtedly have a leg up in their first semester.”
Louis E. Newman is the former Dean of Academic Advising and Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at Stanford University. During his six years at Stanford, he grew the advising program, promoted a holistic approach to academic advising, and advocated for liberal education. He is also the John M. and Elizabeth W. Musser Professor of Religious Studies, Emeritus, at Carleton College, where he taught for thirty-three years. During his tenure at Carleton, he also served as Associate Dean of the College and as Director of the Perlman Center for Learning and Teaching. In this role he functioned as the informal mentor to the faculty at Carleton, which is consistently rated by US News & World Report as #1 for undergraduate teaching. Throughout his career, hundreds of students and colleagues have attested to the profound impact he had on their learning and their lives-as a gifted teacher and as a trusted advisor and mentor.
Louis Newman lives with his wife, Rabbi Amy Eilberg, in Los Altos, California. For more information, visit ThinkingCritically.us