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Critical Thinking

Teen Focus 12+

Through this course, students will develop critical thinking skills as they work through entertaining crime scene scenarios. Acting as detectives for the LAPD, students will examine evidence, witness statements, and expert testimony to determine the validity of arguments while solving fictional crimes. Follow-up activities will solidify students’ understanding of logic and reasoning, allowing them to apply their newfound critical thinking skills to other areas of academic and social life.

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“Critical thinking is identifying and evaluating evidence to guide decision making.” So state the authors of our textbook as they introduce the concept of critical thinking as an essential skill in both academic and everyday situations.

Through this course, students will develop critical thinking skills as they work through entertaining crime scene scenarios. Acting as detectives for the LAPD, students will examine evidence, witness statements, and expert testimony to determine the validity of arguments while solving fictional crimes. Follow-up activities will solidify students’ understanding of logic and reasoning, allowing them to apply their newfound critical thinking skills to other areas of academic and social life.

This class is especially recommended for students planning to take academic writing classes, as clear writing begins with clear thinking.

Critical thinking topics and skills covered:

  • Fact vs. opinion
  • Ambiguity and vagueness
  • Recognizing arguments: finding premises and conclusions
  • Evaluating Claims
  • Syllogisms
  • Inductive arguments
  • Fallacies


This is a 16-week class for teens working at the high school level. Weekly webinars are 50 minutes long. Recordings are available for students who must miss a session.

Required Books:

Topics Covered

Fact vs. opinion
Ambiguity and vagueness
Recognizing arguments: finding premises and conclusions
Evaluating Claims
Syllogisms
Inductive arguments
Fallacies

Challenge Level

Aimed at students ready for work appropriate to grades 9 through 12. This is a high school course open to students ages 12 and up who are prepared to think critically and discuss issues with a healthy skepticism.

Time Commitment

Most students report spending approximately 1 – 2 hours per week on homework outside of the webinar.

Instructor

Headmistress Guinevere

Required Materials

James Madison Critical Thinking Course by William O’Meara and Daniel Flage, The Critical Thinking Company

Usually Offered

Spring Semester

Prerequisites

Prerequisites: Students must be prepared to read and analyze challenging material at a high school level.  Students must also be able to write multi-paragraph texts independently and participate actively in written discussion forums and webinars. 

Available Sessions

Spring 2019 Monday 9am Pacific, Spring 2018 Monday 1pm Pacific