ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Education
 

Notices


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 22nd June 2006, 10:15 PM   #1
infornography
Scholar
 
infornography's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 123
What if?

If you had the opportunity to add a course to the curriculum taught at your local school district that would be taught for one year at any level, what subject would you introduce and at what grade level would you introduce it?

Go.
infornography is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd June 2006, 10:38 PM   #2
NobbyNobbs
Gazerbeam's Protege
 
NobbyNobbs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 5,631
Skepticism 101, starting at 1st grade. Textbook: How To Ask Questions and Listen To the Answers.
__________________
I wish someone would find something I wrote on this board to be sig-worthy, thereby effectively granting me immortality.--Antiquehunter
The gods do not deduct from a man's allotted years on earth the time spent eating butterscotch pudding.
AMERICA! NUMBER 1 IN PARTICLE PHYSICS SINCE JULY 4TH, 1776!!! --SusanConstant
NobbyNobbs is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd June 2006, 10:57 PM   #3
infornography
Scholar
 
infornography's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 123
I am thinking I would introduce "Critical Thinking Skills" as a 3rd or 4th grade class. It would cover cognitive learning skills, understanding logic and logical falacies, and skepticism without cynacism.
infornography is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd June 2006, 05:14 AM   #4
Avita
Scholar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 75
I'd add Practical Psychology. At all grades, if I could, but if I had to choose, around 6th grade.

That's because I think that, as much as I want to see critical thinking skills taught at school, it's also important to give people tools to cope with the life circumstances that might drive them into abandoning rational thinking. And there is surprising overlap between practical psychology and critical thinking skills, anyway. Monitoring yourself for automatic thoughts, noticing how they create your feelings and opinions, and most of all, disputing those automatic thoughts by examining them critically and seeing how well they correspond with reality - isn't that much like what a critical thinking course would teach? Plus, actually doing this stuff convinces you that you are in control of yourself, and that whatever happens, you have the tools to cope, which is something that I think a lot of people lack (hence why they can easily believe that god/aliens/etc. is controlling them). Also, practical psychological skills are all about listening to what the other person has to say. This is quite incompatible with being an ideologue.

Also, sixth graders are right on the point where they are starting to challenge their parents' authority, and switch over to (sometimes overidentifying) with the peer group. We tell them what'll happen to them physically, but we give no similar guidelines as to what'll happen to them mentally. I think that, if they were armed with that knowledge, they would be in a better position to question whether or not, for example, it's really such a good idea to do something just because everyone else is doing it. It's the best set-up for children becoming skeptical-minded that I can think of.
Avita is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd June 2006, 12:17 PM   #5
infornography
Scholar
 
infornography's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 123
Quote:
I'd add Practical Psychology. At all grades, if I could, but if I had to choose, around 6th grade.
ooooh metacognition course, good thinking. I like it.
infornography is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd June 2006, 12:32 PM   #6
Overman
Master Poster
 
Overman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,633
Critial Thinking. Freshman year of high school. Start with logic, do that for the first quarter, then delve into the Demon haunted world, chapter by chapter, with full review and projects.

Extra credit for answering questions on Monday from Randi's Friday commentary.

Extra Extra Credit for those students who can sing the full lyrics to Overman's Evolution Rocks!!!!!
Overman is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd June 2006, 03:31 PM   #7
Floyt
Chordate
 
Floyt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,631
History and Philosophy of Science, sometime BEFORE they start into their first thesis. It's amazing how many otherwise knowledgeable science students don't know what framework they are working in - what is induction, what is deduction, and who's that Popper guy anyway...

For life sciences specifically, a gut course in Palaeontology. Gives you a totally different (and I think essentially so) perspective on the history of life, but seems to be mostly a voluntary thing to take at this time.

ETA right, so that's more university level. Shoulda read more carefully.
__________________
They had no god; they had no gods; they had no faith. What they appear to have had is a working metaphor.
- Ursula K. Le Guin, "Always Coming Home"
Floyt is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd June 2006, 06:02 PM   #8
rjh01
Gentleman of leisure
Tagger
 
rjh01's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Flying around in the sky
Posts: 19,832
Social skills. So many people do not know how to behave themselves.

Another one is being able to analyse an argument. From there you can go on to critical thinking or Skepticism 101.

Only problem is that you must teach the teachers first.
rjh01 is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd June 2006, 06:02 PM   #9
TragicMonkey
Poisoned Waffles
 
TragicMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Monkey
Posts: 33,219
Art History, in junior high. Expose the little monsters to some culture, and maybe a few of them will learn to appreciate art, or even pick up some history. With luck, they might even learn a smidgin of respect for the past.
__________________
One cannot expect wisdom to flow from a pumpkin.
TragicMonkey is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 27th June 2006, 04:17 PM   #10
Polaris
Philosopher
 
Polaris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 8,607
Critical thinking would be a good required course - including heavy emphasis on classic logic.

Failing that, fiscal responsibility. The only difference between the rich and the poor are that the rich have access to better information and they apply it when they get it. This is perhaps a good way of explaining critical thinking and skepticism (Sagan returns to the example of the skeptical used-car buyer in Demon Haunted World repeatedly). First lesson: if someone who's poor gives you advice on how to make money, ignore it (and plenty of poor people remarkably have plenty of advice on how to make money.)

Civics is also a good idea as a close tie for critical thinking. Drive on an American highway or go to a movie theater and any confusion as to why this is necessary will quickly evaporate.
Polaris is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 27th June 2006, 09:01 PM   #11
Jeff Corey
New York Skeptic
 
Jeff Corey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 13,796
Applied Behavior Analysis. Real practical psychology without the bullfeces that is usually included in high school psych. No airhead cognitive crap, just plain continencies of reinforcement, how to apply them, how to chart behavior to see if the program worked and the ethics of controlling behavior.
I think Martin and Pear "Behavior Modification" would work as a text with advanced students.
Jeff Corey is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th June 2006, 12:53 PM   #12
JollyRoger
Muse
 
JollyRoger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 549
how about Problem solving skills and I would start it in conjunction with politics and American history courses, this way when the generation that has this extra bit of learning start to get elected for government office, they will have the problem solving skills to solve problems with out going to war.

self discipline, and self control would also be wise to teach kids at about the in 6th grade deal with the problem at its source kids to not need to have kids. and grown up do not need (in my opinion) to have umty-nine kids. we may be able to avoid making the overpopulation problem worse than it all ready is.
__________________
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.
Albert Einstein

Last edited by JollyRoger; 28th June 2006 at 12:58 PM.
JollyRoger is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th June 2006, 03:51 PM   #13
jimlintott
Master Poster
 
jimlintott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 2,894
Physical Education for Non-jocks.

Too many really smart kids ignore their bodies because phys-ed is not designed for them and they hate it. It isn't until later in life (if they're lucky) they discover how important and fun physical activity is. Probably junior high when it starts being an issue.
__________________
If you are going to throw caution to the wind, make sure you are standing upwind.
jimlintott is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th June 2006, 04:48 PM   #14
Alkatran
Muse
 
Alkatran's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 559
"Computer Security 101"

It's amazing, the speed people can fill the machine with crap.

I'd also consider skepticism and a dumbed down physics course for people who can't grasp the fact that v = d/t (first lesson: NO PERPETUAL MOTION!).
__________________
Don't pay attention to this signature: it's contradictory.
Alkatran is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Education

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:33 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
2014, TribeTech AB. All Rights Reserved.
This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.