In an era where the universe of misinformation seems to be expanding more rapidly than the real one, we are in need of tools that can help us sort good argument from bad. In this on-line synchronous learning program for teens and tweens, we dive into the fun world of informal logical fallacies by exploring some of the most ubiquitous and egregious errors in thinking. Students become acquainted with fallacies through a combination of group activities and discussion, mixed-media, and instruction. Aims of the program include: Learning about what constitutes good reasoning from bad reasoning, identifying fallacious reasoning in everyday use, cultivating critical-creative thinking skills, enhancing general reasoning capabilities, and promoting cooperative learning, diverse perspectives and civil, engaged and reasoned discourse and decision-making.
The program can be adapted as multi-part series for junior high and high school students—with each class focusing on and playfully exploring one informal logical fallacy per meeting. While critical, creative thinking is relevant to all fields of study, the skills cultivated in this program cross over most naturally with philosophy, behavioral sciences, social studies, political science/civics, science, and language arts and literacy.
Marisa Diaz-Waian is the founder and director of Merlin CCC, a community philosophy non-profit based out of Helena, MT and Chair of the Education Committee for the Philosophy Learning & Teaching Organization. A generalist by nature, training, and practice, she sees philosophy as “hands-in-dirt” activity that is meant to be lived. Her work focuses on philosophy in the community, frequently with an interdisciplinary, environmental, and intergenerational bent.