Critical ThinkingFeaturedHigher EducationLesson PlansPedagogySecondary Education

Lesson Plans: Goodnight, Sweet Skeptic

Most of us are familiar, at least tangentially, with Shakespeare’s Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. At the very least, we probably know that the eponymous Hamlet has some problems. We may also know (or think we know) that one of those problems is a tendency toward indecisiveness; readers/viewers declare …

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Critical ThinkingHigher EducationRequired ReadingsSecondary Education

RR: 17 March 2013

Good morning, scholars! Are you on spring break this week, as I am? It’s the BEST, right? Here are some things to read, in a very leisurely fashion, maybe on a beach: The American Library Association teaches high school students to read the news media critically, a desperately needed skill. …

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Critical ThinkingFeatured

Teaching the Letter “A”

A little known secret about academia (and a serious flaw, I might add) is that many university professors receive little to no training in how to teach. Sociology poses a unique challenge because the entire discipline is built on deconstructing that which we take for granted as normal or even …

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Critical ThinkingPedagogyPop Quiz

Pop Quiz: How useful are tests, anyway?

As some of you may or may not be aware, most PhD students outside the discipline of Education are never required to take any classes in paedagogy in order to “learn” how to teach at the university level, or indeed at any other. Rather, it’s kind of magically expected that …

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Critical ThinkingHigher EducationInformal EducationSecondary Education

Thinking Critically about Formal Education

NPR featured a story today titled “Skipping Out On College And ‘Hacking Your Education,’” in which they discuss the book Hacking Your Education by Dale Stephens, who also founded the website UnCollege.org. I felt like I was being a jerk in my head when I first saw the story, because my …

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Critical ThinkingHigher EducationPrimary EducationTechnology

Teaching critically with Wikipedia

An important element of teaching critical thinking to students is distinguishing reliable sources of information from less reliable ones. In educational settings at all levels, from K-12 to higher education, a common bugaboo is Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that is editable by nearly everyone. Claims are often made by teachers …

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Critical ThinkingHigher EducationLesson PlansPedagogySecondary Education

Lesson Plans: Using Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” To Teach Logical Fallacies

Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery” must stand as one of the most anthologized works in literature textbook history. Here, from the vantage point of my professorial desk, I can lay eyes on at least four volumes that feature it. What’s so great about “The Lottery?” For one, the story …

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Critical ThinkingHigher EducationScience

The One Where I Might Be Harshing Free Speech

Hello, School of Doubt! I’m very happy to participate in this project. I’m a tenured associate professor of English at a baccalaureate liberal arts college. My Ph.D. specialization area was British Romantics, but everyone is a generalist where I work because the school is very small, meaning I can teach anything …

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Critical ThinkingHigher Education

Teaching the Social Construction of Sex

Why do some women find it a turn on when men “take control” in the bedroom, pushing her down and performing aggressive sex acts? Choking a woman not a biologically-based sexual gratification. I also suspect that penetration to the point of soreness or tearing is not a biologically-based source of …

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Critical Thinking

School of Doubt is in Session!

Hello and welcome to School of Doubt, the newest sister site in the Skepchick network! I’m Alasdair and I’m the site’s admin. It’s my pleasure to welcome you and to explain a little about what’s going to be happening here. School of Doubt is dedicated to the discussion of skepticism …

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