Critical Thinking

A Skeptatic Dialogue, Conclusion

Quentis and Firmatio: A Skeptatic Dialogue, Conclusion Continued from Part 4.   Epilogue: While the Socratic dialogues are useful in studying the Socratic method, perhaps this Skeptatic dialogue might be helpful in explaining the Skeptical method. Or perhaps not, I’m experimenting with different pedagogical techniques and this is one result. …

READ MORE →
Critical Thinking

A Skeptatic Dialogue, Part 4

Quentis and Firmatio: A Skeptatic Dialogue, Part 4 Continued from Part 3.   Firmatio: So that’s it then? You’re wrong and we can move on? Quentis: Not yet, the reason why I’m wrong is much more important than just the fact that I am wrong. A moment ago I told …

READ MORE →
Critical Thinking

A Skeptatic Dialogue, Part 3

Quentis and Firmatio: A Skeptatic Dialogue, Part 3 Continued from Part 2.   Firmatio: Right, so you don’t think you can fly anymore? Quentis: Of course I still think I can fly, because I believe it is true. Firmatio: That’s not a good reason. Quentis: Sure it is. I have …

READ MORE →
Critical Thinking

A Skeptatic Dialogue, Part 2

Quentis and Firmatio: A Skeptatic Dialogue, Part 2 Continued from Part 1.   Quentis: Sure, but science doesn’t know everything. There’s a lot of things that western science doesn’t understand. Being able to fly if you jump three times is one of those things. Scientists don’t even know how bees …

READ MORE →
Critical Thinking

A Skeptatic Dialogue, Part 1

Quentis and Firmatio: A Skeptatic Dialogue, Part 1   Quentis: Okay, if you jump three times, you can fly. Firmatio: That sounds dubious to me. Quentis: No, really. My grandmother told me about it, and her grandmother told her. It’s a family tradition that goes back thousands of years. Firmatio: …

READ MORE →
Education

Using Data to Find Grading Bias

I love data. A lot. When a close friend was in the hospital, I calculated the exact amount of my free time I dedicated to visiting him each day and put it in a fancy set of charts and graphs. Not for any guilt-tripping purposes, I did this for the …

READ MORE →
Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking for Parrots

Not actual parrots, I’m referring to humans who repeat words over and over without actually knowing what they mean. Specifically the phrase “critical thinking.” This is a very popular buzzphrase in education. So popular that I constantly see it used by people who have no idea how to actually practice …

READ MORE →
Culture

It Wasn’t the Best Response Ever

Here’s a surprise (not really): something went viral that probably shouldn’t have. Few things take flight faster than an angry and misguided letter from a parent. (A summary of my entire post: The father had no evidence to support his claims, and the school’s policies existed for a good reason. …

READ MORE →
CultureFeatured

Pseudoscience in the Non-science Classroom

Skeptics tend to focus on the science classroom, especially with Intelligent Design in the United States always trying to wedge its way in. Even if we succeed in getting all the evidentially unsupported claims out of the science classes, students are still hearing many of those claims presented credulously in …

READ MORE →
Pedagogy

Opting Out of Homework

One of the required readings in early March involved an article on “Opting Out of Homework.” While writing a comment to respond to it, I realized I had enough to say for a proper blog post. When I was a child, I opted out of homework. Of course, opting out …

READ MORE →