What should a course on critical thinking include?

Methods and means of supporting critical thinking in education
Kasper G
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What should a course on critical thinking include?

Postby Kasper G » Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:13 am

I am designing a new course in critical thinking, skepticism, rationality and argumentation. I would like it to have a focus that will enable participants to use their new skills right away, so I want the course to be very practical oriented.

The idea is that the course should give a good foundation for the participants to critically evaluate claims they might encounter in their daily life. The ideal for the course would be to immunize against pseudoscience and the like – naturally without telling the participants what to think, only how to think.

The course will be made available for anyone via a special offer under the Universities in my country, meaning that the participants will be adults from various backgrounds. Experience with these courses reveal that the participants are rarely young.

I am still collecting and researching relevant topics, and I would love to be inspired by your thoughts. What should such a course include?

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Re: What should a course on critical thinking include?

Postby octopus1 » Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:02 am

It'll be difficult to create a course like this, satisfying the goals you outline. The ones that are likely to be interested in taking such a course, will already be reasonably critical skeptics. The ones that you want to really target, the true-believers - Simply won't want anything to do with it.

With respect, though I wish you the best of luck with it, you may ultimately be expending too much energy in 'preaching to the choir'... ;)
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Re: What should a course on critical thinking include?

Postby scrmbldggs » Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:27 am

Now, this was a High School teacher asking, and I'm not sure if it's helpful for either one of you, but I posted some rather informative links here. Maybe there's something useful for you to be found in that thread. :-D
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Gord
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Re: What should a course on critical thinking include?

Postby Gord » Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:02 am

scrmbldggs wrote:here

Yes, I mentioned the list of logical fallacies there. I think it's very useful to know them for any course on critical thinking.
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Re: What should a course on critical thinking include?

Postby JO 753 » Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:50 am

It must include the topic uv Nooalf spelling, especially for literate native English speakers. They need to replace an important cornerstone uv their thought processez that iz currently made uv semisolid krap with the Nooalf system which iz made uv stainless steel.

Seriously.
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Re: What should a course on critical thinking include?

Postby Harte » Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:04 am

Use clips of "Ancient Aliens" from the History Channel.

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octopus1
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Re: What should a course on critical thinking include?

Postby octopus1 » Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:16 am

:scratch:

Play nice! :P
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scrmbldggs
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Re: What should a course on critical thinking include?

Postby scrmbldggs » Tue Sep 02, 2014 1:51 am

Harte wrote:Use clips of "Ancient Aliens" from the History Channel.

Harte

He said course, not curse. :roll:
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Re: What should a course on critical thinking include?

Postby clarsct » Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:10 am

Basic Formal Logic should be included.
Scientific Method and Philosophy


Critical thought is about evaluating an argument. I would start with television commercials and magazine advertisements. Once one discovers that almost all ad campaigns are a logical fallacy, then it becomes simpler to pick them apart. Political campaigns could be next, so long as you're picking apart each party equally. Easier to do in the States.
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Re: What should a course on critical thinking include?

Postby JO 753 » Wed Sep 10, 2014 7:11 pm

Wut if the political partyz are The Skeptical Genius Ph.D Party and The Religious Woo Meth Rastafarian Party?
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Re: What should a course on critical thinking include?

Postby digress » Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:27 pm

A critical thinking course should include a course on what a critical thinking course should include.
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Re: What should a course on critical thinking include?

Postby Canadian Skeptic » Wed Sep 10, 2014 11:01 pm

From a practical application perspective, I'd personally suggest a critical thinking course should really emphasize not only criticizing other beliefs, pseudoscience and the like, but in teaching the skill to criticize one's own beliefs.

There's a lot of research to suggest that people who believe in things like conspiracy theories and the like are actually deeply critical thinkers. The problem is that they don't direct their criticism inwards, but rather only ever outwards -- so a 9/11 conspiracy theorist can tear the official 9/11 story apart, but isn't equally capable of tearing apart 9/11 conspiracies.

Most people think what they believe is correct (no surprise here), but as a consequence don't really critique or evaluate their positions. A good skeptic can not only critique other people's beliefs, but their own as well -- and know when to change their mind about something in light of new evidence.

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Re: What should a course on critical thinking include?

Postby Frank Hoffman » Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:52 am

Kasper G wrote:I am designing a new course in critical thinking, skepticism, rationality and argumentation.... What should such a course include?


To Kasper G - So how did it go? What did you decide on?


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