APRIL 12, 2010. I have received MANY inquiries about my new course. People have asked me for an outline or syllabus of the course. So here it is.
I’m happy to answer any and all questions that come up while people are reading the outline, including queries about cost, shipping details, etc.
When students complete this course and know the materials, their world has changed. They can approach other material in school and out of school with vastly increased awareness—and they are, in fact, eager to dig into new information and analyze it with these new tools. The students become the inheritors of a profound Western tradition of thought, a tradition that brought tremendous progress to civilization.
Two significant points: Unlike some other educational publishers, I offer the course for use as many times as the teacher wants to teach it to his/her student classes, on into the future—the price of the course remains the same. And I do not increase the price of the course on the basis of how many students are in a given class.
I’M AVAILABLE TO HELP TEACHERS MASTER THIS MATERIAL, SO THEY CAN TEACH IT WITH CONFIDENCE TO THEIR STUDENTS.
Keep in mind that this outline only begins to describe the depth of the material. The student, in many classroom sessions, analyzes passages of text that contain multiple logical errors. The student learns how to dissect these passages and find all the flaws. This is an experience that can literally change lives—because the student wakes up to what logic is all about in a real-life situation—as opposed to passively accepting whatever information comes his way.
The course has 18 classroom sessions. The last two sessions are the final exam and the teacher’s step-by-step review of the exam.
The teacher’s manual explains how every lesson is laid out.
EVERY CLASSROOM LESSON IS FILLED WITH EXAMPLES THAT ARE STUDIED BY THE STUDENT, UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF THE TEACHER.
LESSON 1—The student learns how generalizations and vague terms can infect the reasoning process and make it useless and misleading. What is a generalization? What is a vague generalization? What is a vague term? Examples are studied. Vague terms and generalizations are the most common errors found in the reasoning process.
LESSON 2—The student learns to analyze several traditional logical fallacies that occur in a line of reasoning. These fallacies are shown in many examples. They are concise and clear. These are the flaws first described by Aristotle in ancient Greece.
LESSON 3—The student now begins to examine actual passages of text that contain multiple logical errors. The passages are short. With the teacher’s guidance., the student comes to see how these passages are misleading. This lesson is the groundwork for everything that is to come in the course.
LESSON 4—The student tackles a whole host of text passages that contain logical flaws. These passages illustrate such fallacies as: polemic; attacking the person rather than the argument; vague terms; inappropriate analogy; “sales pitch”; omission of vital information; circular reasoning.
LESSONS 5-16—The student now embarks on the analysis of six much longer and more complex text passages. Each long passage is studied for two classroom sessions. These passages resemble news stories, political promotion, internet journalism, science press releases—in other words, just the sort of material we all come across every day. The teacher has the students take apart each passage and offer up the errors they find; then, the teacher explains ALL the errors.
In my CD that accompanies the teacher’s manual, I go through each of these long passages and describe the errors contained in them. The teacher can play my descriptions to the class.
Lessons 5-16 are the core of the course. The student gains confidence in being able to dissect, SPECIFICALLY AND IN DETAIL, realistic written material that contains multiple logical errors. Step by step, passage by passage, the student learns how to find the flaws and see through the misdirection.
LESSONS 17 AND 18—The student takes the final exam. In it, the student examines a new long text passage and writes down all the SPECIFIC errors he/she can find. Then, after grading the exams, the teacher gives, in the last class, a detailed analysis of the exam passage.
This outline can’t possibly present the experience of actually doing the course. So after reading this, feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
HYPERLINK “mailto:email@example.com” firstname.lastname@example.org
The teacher’s manual is very complete. It contains every passage contained in the course—and a detailed explanation of how the major passages are flawed. Essentially, the teacher studies the manual and then teaches the course. I am available to answer questions teachers have as they study the material themselves.
The course is geared for bright high-school students. I am, on request, available to design logic courses for children of different ages.
Jon Rappoport has been working as an investigative reporter for 25 years. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize early in his career, he has published articles in LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, CBS Healthwatch, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. He has taught in several private schools in New York and Los Angeles, and has tutored extensively in remedial English at Santa Monica College. At Amherst College, where he graduated with a BA in philosophy, he studied formal logic under Joseph Epstein, a revered professor of philosophy.