Shelagh Crooks (2013)

CrooksAffiliation at the time of the award: Saint Mary’s University.

Citation: Shelagh Crooks joins the 3M National Fellowship as an outstanding teacher, a model of collegiality, a mentor to faculty and students, and an exceptional educational leader who advocates for the teaching mission of universities. At the heart of Dr. Crook’s teaching is the value of critical reflection so students become “effective and autonomous thinkers.” As one student noted, “Shelagh teaches the skill of independent thought and then actually inspires one to think.”

Shelagh describes her “guide by the side” teaching as “listening to the day-to-day rhythm of the class, to students’ questions, to their silence, and observing the nods, shrugs, and absences.” Spontaneous, courageous, and with a generous spirit, Shelagh helps students and colleagues connect to one another, ideas and issues, and to herself. An effusive and remarkable educational leader, Shelagh generously shares her expertise within her discipline and the wider academy inspiring and transforming teaching and scholarly efforts. Shelagh’s capacity and willingness to envision how change leads to a captivating and impactful teaching and learning environment has a profound impact as one colleague noted “leading all of us to follow her model of continually striving to find new ways to improve the teaching and learning environment for our students and colleagues.”

3M Speaker
I would be interested in speaking on topics/issues connected critical thinking. In particular, I could speak to the following:

  • The idea of critical thinking and popular misconceptions of it
  • The challenges of teaching critical thinking and strategies for doing s
  • The nature of the “critical” classroom
  • The importance of attitudes of “criticality” and developing such attitudes in students
  • The relationship between critical and creative thinking

Also, I could talk about “Teaching conceived as a kind of Inquiry”.