Author Archives: Peter Ellerton

About Peter Ellerton

Director of the University of Queensland Critical Thinking Project and Lecturer in Critical Thinking.

Free will and mobile phones

Can you prove you have free will?

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A Critical Thinking Matrix

Exploring the relationship between cognitive skills and the values of inquiry. Grey boxes describe student work. This can be used to generate rubrics. CT Matrix

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The Skills, Values and Virtues of Inquiry

A model for understanding effective thinking through categorising key educational ideas and examining the relationships between them. Skills Values and Virtues of Inquiry

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Science and art from Dilbert

Discuss.

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Why would anyone believe the Earth is flat?

                Peter Ellerton, The University of Queensland Belief in a flat Earth seems a bit like the attempt to eradicate polio – just when you think it’s gone, a pocket of resistance appears. … Continue reading

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Dilbert on Zeno

Zeno does it again.

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We can’t trust common sense but we can trust science

Peter Ellerton, The University of Queensland When a group of Australians was asked why they believed climate change was not happening, about one in three (36.5%) said it was “common sense”, according to a report published last year by the … Continue reading

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What does it mean to think and could a machine ever do it?

Peter Ellerton, The University of Queensland The idea of a thinking machine is an amazing one. It would be like humans creating artificial life, only more impressive because we would be creating consciousness. Or would we? How can meat think? … Continue reading

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Teaching how to think is just as important as teaching anything else

Peter Ellerton, The University of Queensland A new paper on teaching critical thinking skills in science has pointed out, yet again, the value of giving students experiences that go beyond simple recall or learned procedures. It is a common lamentation … Continue reading

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Some useful tips on how to raise an argumentative child

Peter Ellerton, The University of Queensland The old adage that children should be seen and not heard is nothing but wishful thinking. Children are naturally inquisitive and they usually can’t help verbalising their curiosity. Asking “why?” is the most natural … Continue reading

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Working together for critical thinking in schools

Working together for critical thinking in schools Peter Ellerton, The University of Queensland One of the most desirable characteristics of school graduates is that they can think critically. This helps them individually and also helps the societies in which they … Continue reading

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How to teach all students to think critically

How to teach all students to think critically Peter Ellerton, The University of Queensland All first year students at the University of Technology Sydney could soon be required to take a compulsory maths course in an attempt to give them … Continue reading

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Do we live in a simulation?

  From SMBC

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Digital Piracy

Is this a good analogy?   

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Privacy vs Security

Discuss.

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A causal nightmare

More from Dilbert

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If it’s not right to rape a rapist, how can it be OK to kill a killer?

Discuss (1) this analogy and the (2) image below. (1) Here is the source article for the analogy. “That’s the thing. The reason why we would be hesitant to endorse it is that – what normal person would be paid to do something so … Continue reading

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The Principle of Sufficient Reason

Form the Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy “The Principle of Sufficient Reason is a powerful and controversial philosophical principle stipulating that everything must have a reason or cause. This simple demand for thoroughgoing intelligibility yields some of the boldest and most … Continue reading

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The Anchoring Effect

More on this here.

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Misunderstanding Statistics

Another Dilbert moment…

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