James Madison Critical Thinking Course

James Madison Critical Thinking Course

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Ages: 12+

Grades: 8-12+

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Product Code: 410-401

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Typically counted as 1/2 credit for high school students.

Download sample pages from James Madison Critical Thinking Course (PDF)

Captivating Scenarios, Exceptional Critical Thinking
Engage your teen in captivating crime-related scenarios and give him the exceptional critical thinking skills he needs with the James Madison Critical Thinking Course. Superbly easy for any homeschool family to use, the step-by-step, self-instructional lessons and activities are straightforward and applicable across your teen’s entire curriculum.

Learn Analytical Skills by Solving Mysteries
Using mini-mysteries and a fictional detective with the Los Angeles Police Department, each chapter of the James Madison Critical Thinking Course focuses on various thinking skills and leads your teen gradually into complicated analytical skills. Massive in scope, the course teaches more than sixty-five skills and concepts related to critical thinking, such as learning how to distinguish a fact from an opinion, recognizing ambiguity in a statement, evaluating arguments as valid or not, and assessing common fallacies in reasoning.

Includes Everything Covered in a Typical Logic Course
Everything in a typical introductory logic course is included in the James Madison Critical Thinking Course. Pages are perforated for easy removal and are reproducible for your home use. The Instruction Guide (sold separately) provides answers to both the exercises and the quizzes, but virtually no additional information.

Topics Include:
  • Interpret and apply complex texts, instructions, illustrations, etc.
  • Recognize and clarify issues, claims, arguments, and explanations.
  • Distinguish: conclusions, premises (reasons), arguments, explanations, assumptions (stated/unstated), issues, claims (statements), suppositions, unstated conclusions, unstated premises, and implications.
  • Recognize ambiguity and unclearness in claims, arguments, and explanations.
  • Distinguish necessary and sufficient conditions.
  • Describe the structure or outline of arguments and explanations: confirmation, disconfirmation.
  • Evaluate whether an inductive argument is strong or weak.
  • Evaluate claims and arguments in terms of criteria such as: consistency, relevance, support.
  • Evaluate analogical arguments and inductive generalization arguments in terms of criteria, such as: the greater the number of similarities between the conclusion and the premises regarding the sample, the stronger the argument.
  • Assess the relevance of claims to other claims, and to questions, descriptions, representations, procedures, information, directives, rules, principles, etc.
  • Evaluate whether a deductive argument is valid or invalid (logical form): categorical, truth-functional, and semantic/definitional.
  • Distinguish supporting, conflicting, compatible, and equivalent claims, arguments, explanations, descriptions, representations, etc.
  • Identify and avoid errors in reasoning, informal fallacies: begging the question, equivocation, post hoc, ergo propter hoc (after that, therefore, because of that), false dilemma/false dichotomy fallacy (line drawing fallacy, perfectionist fallacy), smoke screen/red herring/rationalizing, hasty generalization, appeal to ridicule/sarcasm, ad hominem fallacy (personal attack, poisoning the well), appeal to illegitimate authority, loaded question, evidence surrogate, stereotyping, appeal to consequences (favorable or unfavorable), "wishful thinking", genetic fallacy, biased generalization, anecdotal evidence.
  • Discern whether pairs of claims are consistent, contrary, contradictory, or paradoxical.

  • Features

    Answers are located in the back of this book.

    Publisher's Information
    Authors: William O'Meara, Ph.D and Daniel Flage, Ph.D
    544, perforated
    Activities: Sixty-five critical thinking related skills and concepts
    Black & White:
    Binding: Paperback
    The Critical Thinking Co
    Printed In:
    Typical High School Credits Earned: 1/2 credit critical thinking
    Faith-Based: No

    Awards and Endorsements:
    Cathy Duffy - 101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum

    Customer Reviews

    Based on 8 reviews
    Lyndsy L.

    My daughter loves this book. It's fun and challenging.

    malynda w.
    Fun and challenging

    My 17 yo loves this. The lessons are fairly short and provide alot of practice to help cement the concepts. Outside of classwork we have noticed he is applying the skills to everyday situations naturally. Highly recommend.

    James Madison

    This can be challenging! But it is very interesting coming at it from the criminal investigation side. Of the 4 boys who have already taken this course 2 loved it, 2 hated it!! :)

    Rachel W.
    James Madison Student

    My son wasn't a huge fan of this Critical Thinking Course. It is definitely challenging but I wouldn't say in a good way. More frustrating and once you know the answer a lot of times it still doesn't make sense.

    Brittany S.
    Brain Building

    WOW was I surprised by the challenge this gave my highschooler. I was expecting him to blow right through this curriculum..instead, he was engaged and stretching his knowledge with each assignment. Some were very challenging and he reached out for assistance, giving us a great opportunity to work together to solve the assignment. Very pleased with this thought-provoking curriculum and will use it again with my younger son when he's ready.