Category Archives: Critical Thinking

What exactly is the scientific method and why do so many people get it wrong?

There’s a big difference between science and pseudoscience. But if people don’t understand how science works in the first place, it’s very easy for them to fall for the pseudoscience. Source: What exactly is the scientific method and why do … Continue reading

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How do we ensure we are exposed to new ideas? A parody with bite.

Assuring users that the company’s entire team of engineers was working hard to make sure a glitch like this never happens again, Facebook executives confirmed during a press conference Tuesday that a horrible accident last night involving the website’s algorithm … Continue reading

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A Life of Meaning (Reason Not Required) – What is the nature of our relationship with reason?

If philosophy is to stay relevant, it must bridge the gap between feeling, thought and reason. Few would disagree with two age-old truisms: We should strive to shape our lives with reason, and a central prerequisite for the good life … Continue reading

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Can you name this cognitive bias?

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By what measures can we value human life?

The Fallen of World War II from Neil Halloran on Vimeo. It can clearly be challenging to convey the magnitude of loss after a tragedy, particularly when that number is in the tens of millions, yet that is precisely what … Continue reading

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Teaching philosophy improves standardised scores

Want to improve NAPLAN scores? Teach children philosophy Latest figures show that student scores in reading, writing, language and numeracy have failed to improve despite schools receiving record funding over the past few years. The National Assessment Program – Literacy … Continue reading

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Are we in control of our own decisions?

Dan Ariely — One of the most significant of TED talks for understanding how we think.

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Neuroscience and education: myths and messages

NATURE REVIEWS | NEUROSCIENCE Abstract: For several decades, myths about the brain — neuromyths — have persisted in schools and colleges, often being used to justify ineffective approaches to teaching. Many of these myths are biased distortions of scientific fact. … Continue reading

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Where’s the Proof in Pseudoscience?

Peter Ellerton, The Conversation Contrast this with homeopathy, a field that has generated no discernible growth in knowledge or practice. While the use of modern scientific language may make it sound more impressive, there is no corresponding increase in knowledge … Continue reading

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Teaching the nature of science (and keeping students engaged)

Peter Ellerton, The Conversation What’s particularly disturbing about current science education at the primary, secondary and tertiary level is the almost complete lack of explicit consideration of what I’ve referred to as the “nature of science”. Not only are many … Continue reading

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Why You Don’t Know Your Own Mind

Alex Rosenburg, The Stone. It is often said that we can never truly know the minds of others, because we can’t “get inside their heads.” Our ability to know our own minds, though, is rarely called into question. It is … Continue reading

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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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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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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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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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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 Anchoring Effect

More on this here.

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