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Logic for the Real World: How to Apply Logic in Today’s Chaotic and Often Irrational World

Now more than ever it seems our culture is in need of thoughtful, reasoned discourse and argument. Far from being merely an academic subject, logic brings clarity to our own thinking and also enables us to engage with ideas across disciplines, media and culture. Sometimes teaching students how to think can seem like a daunting, abstract, nebulous exercise. During this seminar, we will introduce and discuss the best pedagogical practices for teaching logic to middle and high school students; we will also suggest ways that new teachers of logic can best prepare for teaching this important art. We will consider four aspects of reasoned, logical thinking: 1) how to develop a personal, internal dialogue; 2) learning what the “right” questions are and how to ask them; 3) learning to discern the real issues at the heart of complex discussions; and 4) how to avoid falling prey to the irrelevant, presumptive and unclear fallacies that cloud so many conversations, discussions and debates. The seminar will feature several examples of logical fallacies and provide other pertinent resources for teaching logic well, including ways of incorporating “capstone” projects to culminate a year of teaching logic.