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. 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.
Joelle holds a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania. She began her career as a staffer to Senator Arlen Specter before finding her professional home in the world of classical education in 1999. She has nearly 20 years of logic-teaching experience, most of which were spent at a classical school in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. There, she also developed much of their Logic and Rhetoric curricula. She has co-authored two logic books: The Art of Argument: An Introduction to the Informal Fallacies and The Discovery of Deduction: An Introduction to Formal Logic, both published by Classical Academic Press. Joelle was recently appointed as Scholé Academy’s Principal and works to support a staff of nearly 20 educators. She enjoys helping them develop productive and inspiring classrooms. She also travels to classical schools and co-ops across the country, tailoring workshops and training teachers in the fundamentals of dialectic and Rhetoric-stage pedagogy.