Critical Thinking

Teaching Critical Thinking: Strong vs. Weak

Recently I’ve been familiarizing myself with Richard Paul’s work on critical thinking and reviewing some of the scientific literature on it. After reading the recent Stanford Study I realized I needed to step up my game when it came to teaching critical thinking. A definition seemed like a good place to …

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Science

An Analogy for Science

I’m planning a series of posts on evaluating sources, especially after the recent Stanford study, but this aspect is a bit adjacent so I’ll write about it separately. In Korea, students have to focus on either sciences or humanities from high school onwards. I teach at a humanities-focused school, and …

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Secondary Education

Collective Nouns for Students

Teaching high school students is exactly like this. Humor aside, there is a real conundrum in working with people that are not quite children and not quite adults. On one hand, adolescents can handle complex and abstract concepts and apply their knowledge in incredibly innovative ways. On the other hand, the …

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Politics

There is no Easy Way

One of the most common reasons given to justify studying history is to learn from past mistakes so they are not repeated. I’ve never really questioned it because it sounded true, but recently I’ve started to become skeptical of this stance for a few reasons. First, when we look back …

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Education

Let’s Just Abandon Debate

Last year, I wrote about problems with debate and made a few points about how the way debate is done in schools is problematic. Now, after having to make another professional dive into it, I find myself needing to clarify and reiterate a few points. As can be said for …

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Government

Don’t Promote “Just Vote”

(Note: To be clear, by “just vote” I am not referring to any organization bearing that name or motto, I am referring only to the phrase in common parlance.) Continuing with my “don’t” theme, it is once again that time where I start hearing the same piece of rhetoric repeated …

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Pedagogy

Don’t Teach “Evaluating Sources”

Okay, so that title was a bit of an attention getter. I’m not going to say that you shouldn’t teach students how to evaluate sources at all, just not necessarily when you think you should. Teachers are faced with the task of figuring out exactly what aspects of their subjects …

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Lesson Plans

Lesson: Bad Chart Thursday

This lesson plan could be adjacent to or independent from my “Critical Lunching” lessons. This takes advantage of Melanie Mallon’s great Skepchick series called “Bad Chart Thursdays.” Level: advanced pre-secondary, secondary, or post-secondary (depending on charts used) Subject: language arts, social studies, critical thinking, math, science, or related subject Objectives: …

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Lesson Plans

Lesson 2 In Critical Lunching

Here is another lesson plan which involves thinking critically about arguments in articles which lambast desktop dining. (eating lunch at your desk at work) This is similar to my last lesson plan, but has a slightly different focus. This one is primarily about looking for two specific kinds of logical …

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Lesson Plans

Lesson 1 in Critical Lunching

Here is a basic lesson plan which involves thinking critically about arguments in articles which lambast desktop dining. (eating lunch at your desk at work) Level: secondary or early post secondary Subject: language arts, social studies, critical thinking, or related subject Objectives: TSWBAT compare and contrast benefits and disadvantages of …

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