Are We Serious About Critical Thinking?
In 1979 philosopher Douglas Stalker (University of Delaware, now retired) adopted the stage persona Captain Ray of Light, a pseudo-science hawking speaker whose humorous presentations educated his audience about pseudo-science and poor thinking. (more…)
Philosophy for Kids Is not Math for Kids or Reading for Kids
In 2015, a small study purported to show that teaching elementary school students philosophy improved their math and reading skills. The following year, the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) funded a large-scale study of the effects of teaching philosophy to young children. The results of that study have now been announced. (more…)
From Maps to Apps: Introducing Students to Argument-Mapping (guest post)
In the following guest post*, Chad Mohler, professor of philosophy at Truman State University, describes a cool new argument-mapping app he has created and shares a special offer with Daily Nous readers. (more…)
Free Philosophy Book for Swedish Students
All third-year high school students in Sweden can claim a free copy of Alternative facts: On Knowledge and Its Enemies, by Stockholm University philosophy professor Åsa Wikforss. (more…)
A New Kind of Critical Thinking Text (guest post by David Manley)
“What would it look like if we taught only the most useful skills from the toolkits of philosophy, cognitive psychology, and behavioral economics?” (more…)
“Step aside and let philosophers do their job”
Elizabeth Oljar and David Koukal (University of Detroit Mercy) have penned a spirited case for universities entrusting the teaching of critical thinking to departments of philosophy in The Chronicle of Higher Education (may be paywalled). (more…)
Empirical Support for a Method of Teaching Critical Thinking
A few years ago, a meta-analysis of studies about whether colleges do a good job of teaching critical thinking revealed “no differences in the critical-thinking skills of students in different majors.” (more…)
What Should Philosophers Teach in Quantitative Reasoning Courses? (guest post by Landon D.C. Elkind)
The following is a guest post* by Landon D.C. Elkind (University of Iowa) about the content of philosophy courses that satisfy general education requirements in quantitative or formal reasoning. It originally appeared on his blog. (more…)
The Benefits of Pre-College Exposure to Philosophy: Data Needed
Occasionally philosophers make claims about the benefits of teaching elementary and high school students philosophy. (more…)
Skepticism About Philosophy’s Capacity To Improve Thinking
Philosophy departments often include in their pitch to undergraduates the claim that studying philosophy can improve one’s thinking skills. But does it? (more…)
Teach Everyone Logic?
Clifford argued that we are morally responsible not merely for what we do and say, but also for what we believe… When we show ourselves to be uncritical and careless with own our beliefs, we implicitly invite others to do the same. And, perhaps more obviously, we invite others to fool us. We encourage dishonesty and deception. Each time we believe something that ..
Post-Election Changes To Philosophy Curriculum By Subject: Critical Reasoning / Informal Logic
Continuing in our series of posts about changes to teaching materials and lessons for particular philosophical fields in light of the 2016 U.S. election (see previous installments on epistemology and philosophy of language), today’s post will be on courses variously described as “critical reasoning,” “critical thinking,” and “informal logic.” (more…)
Designing a High School Logic & Critical Thinking Course
Landon Hedrick is a PhD student at the University of Nebraska who is also a high school philosophy teacher at Vanguard Classical School in Colorado. He is looking for some help meeting the specific challenges of designing a logic and critical thinking course in which the materials “are all appropriate for the audience, both in terms of content and in terms of ..
Teaching Students Logic Improves Their Logical Reasoning Skills
Newflash: teaching students logic improves their logical reasoning skills—at least according to some new research. You may be thinking, “duh,” but that would be a mistake. After all, “teach” isn’t a success term. And as it turns out, “there is little evidence that studying logic itself improves one’s logical thinking.” (more…)
Does Philosophy Improve Critical Thinking?
Following on the heels of last week’s discussion of non-philosophers teaching critical thinking, the Chronicle of Higher Education drew attention to a meta-analysis of studies about whether colleges succeed in teaching critical thinking at all. As it turns out, they do:
Students’ critical-thinking skills do improve in college. The difference is comparable to a st..
When Non-Philosophers Teach “Critical Thinking”
“Critical thinking” means a very particular sort of thing to philosophers (mostly identifying, reconstructing, and evaluating arguments), but in the desperate struggle to stay relevant, other academic disciplines have started to appropriate the term “critical thinking” to describe what they do. I have read blog posts and articles by historians and literature profess..
Substantive Philosophical Mistakes In Public Discourse
Public debate is rife with poor reasoning, with certain confused or erroneous claims popping up again and again to affect opinions and policies. Some of these are owed to an inability to understand statistics, some are owed to a lack of scientific understanding, and some are philosophical mistakes. Logic and critical thinking courses already take up formal errors in..
Texas Higher Ed Board v. Logic
With just a few days before the start of the school year, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has removed from the curriculum a number of courses meant to fulfill the “Language, Philosophy, & Culture” core requirement at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). Among the struck courses are several in philosophy, including a number of ethics cours..
Philosophical Education and Constructive Imagination
As we’ve discussed before, most of our students are not heading off to become philosophers. Increasingly, students already have jobs and are saddled with time-consuming responsibilities, and are coming from a broader range of socio-economic backgrounds. What good is a philosophical education for them? Jennifer Morton (City College of New York) takes up the question ..
Critical Thinking Chair Goes to HAZMAT Specialist
A few years ago, the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) received a donation to create the Eugene H. Fram Chair in Applied Critical Thinking (previously). Its first holder was Clarence “Chip” Burton Sheffield Jr., a professor of art history. The school just named Sheffield’s successor: Jennifer Schneider, a professor in RIT’s College of Applied Science and Techn..
Bringing Philosophy To Elementary School
Some fifth grade students in Irvine, California are getting an introduction to philosophy some eight years ahead of normal thanks to a new program developed by Marcello Fiocco, associate professor of philosophy at UC Irvine. The program, called TH!NK, is a four-week, 16-hour course taught by Fiocco and UC Irvine philosophy graduate students at Canyon View Elementary..