Monday, August 16

Using Fallacy Detective in High School {Review}

Disclaimer: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew

With everything going on in our world today, it's getting more and more difficult to weed out the truth in everyday interactions...whether in a conversation, a news report, or even a commercial. Recently, we had the chance to check out The Fallacy Detective, and it's an interesting approach for middle and high school students to delve into the concepts of logic...

The Fallacy Detective book includes thirty-eight different lessons in a combined textbook / workbook format. It is recommended that students complete the lessons as part of a small group, but they can complete them independently if a group is unavailable. (Working in a small group affords discussions that would not otherwise arise in independent work.) Our middle son worked through some of the book on his own, taking time every now and again to discuss concepts and ideas presented in the book with either his father or myself, or both.

If you're unfamiliar with the title term, a fallacy is an error in logic a place where someone has made a mistake in his thinking.....which is something we see a LOT these days. I'm not going to make this review political -- it occurs on both the left and the right, and even with the apolitical. That said, this is a handy book for learning to spot common errors in reasoning.

The book is labeled as being appropriate for ages twelve through adult, but I would suggest it best used in the high school and early college years. Middle school students can be exposed to the concepts, but due to brain development and the inability sometimes to understand abstract concepts, it might be best to present the information again when they are a bit older. Adults who have never had exposure to logic theory will appreciate the book as well as it is written in a conversational style, with witticisms and comic illustrations sprinkled throughout to help keep reader attention.

Peek Inside the Book

Each of the fallacies has at least one illustration to help the reader better understand, followed by several exercises to practice identifying the fallacy in daily life. These exercises include conversational snippets, newspaper articles, and even short headlines. The authors also provide suggested responses so that once the reader has identified a fallacy, they can appropriately respond.

The back of the book contains the answer key so that the teacher can easily grade student work and / or to help guide the teacher who may lack a strong base in logic theory. As someone who never took logic classes, it was nice to have the answers handy...then we could look over them together. My son did struggle with this book some, but he is on the younger end of the spectrum. This is one of those books I would pull out again in the future, maybe three years from now, and go over with him again. Perhaps we'll be able to find a group or co-op to do it together at that time! Either way, one thing I have noticed is that every once in a while now, he will point out a fallacy in the nightly news reporting...and that's kind of fun!

See what others are saying about The Fallacy Detective at the Homeschool Review Crew.

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