Monday, March 18, 2013

Discovery of Deduction- TOS Review


According to the Classical Model, when your kids start arguing, they've hit the dialectic stage (logic) stage. Seems to me, I've got some precocious kids on my hands 'cause a few of them have been arguing since they started talking. I attribute this to strong personalities and opinions (I wonder where they get that from?!).
As one of the sage quotes, included in the text admonishes,
 "Fear not those who argue, but those who dodge."
~Dale Carnegie.
The classical response is to embrace the fact that good thinkers/students want to argue, and then to teach them to argue well. To that end, Classical Academic Press has supplied the educational market with some fantastic resources.

The Discovery of Deduction: An Introduction to Formal Logic    The Discovery of Deduction Teacher's Edition
We recently had the opportunity to review The Discovery of Deduction Student and Teacher's Manuals.
The Discovery of Deduction is the study of formal logic. Formal logic is less concerned with the content of an argument, but more with the form. You know the drill:
All men are mortal.
Socrates is a man.
Therefore, Socrates is mortal.
While a study of informal logic is available through The Art of Argument, and helpful,  it's not necessary before diving into the Discovery of Deduction.
 The text consists of
  • 4 units
  • 9 chapters
  • 2-7 lessons per chapter
  • appendices and glossary
Each chapter has text to read, questions to answer, samples, explanations, graphics, quotes, points to remember, and more. In other words, if you are worried that this is going to be a dry tome, think again!
"Nowhere am I so desperately needed as among a shipload of illogical humans."
The Teacher's Manual is a great resource, and if you aren't at ease, or familiar with logic yourself, highly recommended. It includes the entire student text, along with answer keys, teaching tips, sample essays, dialogues, and arguments.
This program is recommended for students as young as 8th grade, which is perfect fit, imho. Cub (7th grade)  worked through several of the lessons and while he found himself initially overwhelmed by the program, he eased in to it just fine. Feeche (12th grade), who has taken 2 years worth of Logic (both symbolic and linguistic ) read through several of the lessons and declared that it looked far more accessible to him than previous programs that we've used. Love that because, while I'm committed to Logic, I detest programs that leave us feeling confused and overwhelmed, which some of them have.
The Discovery of Deduction would be a great program to use in a group setting (think co-op, academic class day or public school environment)- which would definitely up the fun factor. But if you're worried that the study of logic won't be fun, think again. I mean, really, what's not fun or to love about a logic program that includes Monty Python, Shakespeare and Douglas Adams? Another excellent product from our friends at Classical Academic Press.
"He hoped and prayed that there wasn't an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn't an afterlife."
~Douglas Adams
The Discovery of Deduction: An Introduction to Formal Logic Student Text is $26.95. You can purchase in Kindle or iBook format as well. The Discovery of Deduction Teacher’s Edition is $29.95. I highly recommend the teacher’s manual.
Content-  excellent
Organization - excellent
Presentation - excellent

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