Pillars of Pine

Pillars of Pine

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Logic - Maher Style

I staTraditional Logic 1rted off the year with, as usual, grand plans and hgh hopes. This was going to be the year where we finally got around to studying formal logic. It would be a challenge, I knew, but we were going to do it!We started off using 'Traditional Logic' by Memoria Press, and we were moving through it slowly, however, I began to wonder about using it - the bored faces were teling me that perhaps, this was not the best curriculum choice. But, we plodded on.

Now, I know that formal logic can be very useful, and I know others have used this programme successfully - it IS a good programme, however, we eventually decided to try using the 'Critical Thinking, Book 1' instead. This is not a course in 'formal' logic as such, but rather, as the title suggests, in 'Critical Thinking'. After comparing the two programmes, it seemed as if the Critical Thinking book may be more 'useful', at least in the immediate sense.

Critical Thinking 1So, we put Traditional Logic aside, and began on Critical Thinking. It is still a challenge. But, instead of bored, 'Do we really have to?' faces, my teens have found something that has held their attention. Especially when comments arise in the book such as, 'Go home and tattoo this phrase to your forehead', and the next lesson, 'this time, tattoo the phrase to your forehead backwards, so you can read it in the mirror (Waring: some parents may object to you doing this)'.

And the lessons themselves follow good progression and offer interesting examples. This week, we are working through the chapter which has us substituting complete thoughts, such as 'I like red cars', with a symbol, eg. 'R". Add to that the squiggle '~' for 'not' or 'false', and an arrow for 'if - then' statements, and we're ending up with a class that rattles off sentences like:

"Squiggle D arrow T" or "Squiggle D or squiggle squiggle T arrow Q"

which suits us all just fine!

I don't know if we'll ever get back to formal logic - somehow, we've never quite reached the great heights of curriculum levels that I planned, but, we're doing OK. I'd rather have teens showing an interest in their lessons, rather than completing texts 'just because', which leaves them bored and disliking their schoolwork.

And, as the lessons are fairly short, it also leaves us more time for games such as Chinese Checkers. They haven't figured out how to beat me yet!


No comments: