What Is good thinking? How do we know what we know? What is real and what is the right thing to do? Questions like these lay the foundation of philosophical inquiry in our classrooms. To answer fundamental philosophical questions and actively conceptualize, evaluate, and apply information gathered from observation, experience, reflection, and reasoning, students need to master the skills of critical thinking.
How can teachers better support students in their ability to think critically? In what ways can teachers promote the “how” to think instead of the “what” to think in their students? In this workshop we will discuss skills that can help students make judgments based on reasoning, analyze options using specific criteria, and draw conclusions using rules of logic. We will share classroom activities and lesson plans that teach students to use basic rules of argumentation while avoiding logical fallacies, carefully explore situations with questions and support diverse perspectives with reason and evidence.
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Eugene Melnik teaches Social Studies at Pinetree Secondary in Coquitlam. He earned his undergrad in History and Geography at UBC and his M. Ed. degree at SFU. Eugene takes interest in philosophy and history of ideas, educational theory, educational psychology, teacher education, and social contexts of education.