Started by M O'D, January 10, 2017, 05:47:24 PM
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QuoteThird Open Letter To Home SchoolersLogic & Analysis, a course for home-schooled childrenby Jon RappoportJanuary 2, 2017In the Information Age, a person has several choices.He can give in and accept mainstream news as a valid picture of the world.He can resort, instead, to some version of so-called alternative news and surrender to that without much thought.Or he can become a true independent judge of any source of information, armed with the tools to analyze it sharply and clearly.There are many herds of sheep, not just one. A strong individual doesn't join any herd. But in order to stand up to efforts to enlist him as a card-carrying sheep, he needs the capacity to examine information with logic.Every home school needs a logic course, in the same way that every home school needs to make sure children are literate.These days, information is a flood. There is really no way to pick out the good information by merely relying on the reputation of the author of an article or internet post.We are faced with an undifferentiated mass of material that would take years to digest—and still we wouldn't be able to catch up.A need for tools to evaluate information impressed itself on the society of ancient Greece, because Greece was trying, to a degree, to exist as an open Republic. Therefore, there were many new competing voices. In its own way, Greece experienced an unprecedented flood of information.The solution? Set down principles and strategies for rational discourse. Try to distinguish between valid and invalid argument.I use the word "argument" because, in Greece, a man who considered himself a thinker or a politician was fully aware of the fact that he was often challenging others who didn't share his point of view.This is well reflected in the most famous and revered of all Western philosophical works: the Dialogues of Plato. In these conversations, Plato displays his teacher, Socrates, engaging men of Athens in conversation about the meaning of Justice and Truth and The Good.Socrates happily maneuvered his opponents into arguments that led to absurdities and contradictions—thus proving that these men were approaching vital issues in a naïve and shallow fashion.Reading the Dialogues gave the world its first great lesson in logic in action.Since then, many refinements have been added to the subject of logic. Most useful are the so-called fallacies, about 20 major types of errors. The fallacies are common in many arguments.In fact, we can find them today in newspaper articles, television news, scientific pronouncements, press releases, political assertions, textbooks, corporate reports, appeals court decisions, legal scholarship, medical advice. Everywhere.When students are oblivious to these fallacies, they gloss over information; they passively read it; at best, they memorize it. The one thing they can't do is pick out the good information from the flawed information.And this state of affairs is considered normal education. What a horrendous joke.If you went back to any of the great American political encounters of the 19th century—for example, the Lincoln-Douglas debates—not only would you find a more complex use of language, you would also encounter the unmistakable efforts of both men to engage in logical discourse.The assumption was people of that time could understand this form of argument and counter-argument.Why? Because they had been educated in a different way.Today, logic is given a brush-off.My course was created to remedy this situation.I have written passages of text that resemble newspaper articles and internet journalism, and I have embedded them with common logical fallacies. The students are taught to find these fallacies and see them for what they are.In this way, they attain another type of literacy: logical literacy. It will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives.As a reporter, week by week and month by month, I watch more and more people lose their ability to string together a logical argument. They just can't do it anymore—and they don't recognize their own shortcoming. They've never been taught a good logic course, and they're floundering the in the sea of information that's out there.I think something needs to be done about it, and the place to start is education. School.Here is the syllabus of my Logic and Analysis course.* The course is taught in 18 class sessions.* The first two sessions are filled with short examples of logical fallacies.* The third and fourth sessions examine slightly longer passages of text that contain multiple logical errors.* Sessions five through 16 take up, in great depth, long passages that read like newspaper articles, political statements, PR, and internet journalism. Students learn how to identify and explain, in specific terms, the logical flaws these passages contain.* Sessions 17 and 18 are the final exam and the teacher's dissection of the exam.* The teacher's manual and an accompanying audios lay out each session's lesson plan. The lesson plans include my explanations of the passages and the errors they illustrate.The sessions do not challenge faith or personal conviction. They are designed to enable a bright student to take apart a written text, an argument, a visual presentation — and discover whether it is valid, whether it truly makes sense, whether it has holes in it.The sessions teach the traditional logical fallacies, offer many sample passages and exercises, quizzes, tests, and simple teacher's manuals and daily lesson plans.The Logic and Analysis course is included in my Matrix Revealed collection (complete details below). I have seen other people offering school courses that are amazingly expensive.I undercut those levels by a wide margin.Let's face it. We are living in a world where the notion of individual freedom and power are under attack. Sustaining that freedom involves knowing how to deal with propaganda designed to make us into confused collectivists. When young people possess the know-how and the confidence to see through these shams, they are equipped to succeed.