Today's Wisdom

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Review of The Critical Thinking Co

Today's review product involves the brain and teaching critical thinking skills for grades 9-12. We were given Practical Critical Thinking and Teacher Manual by The Critical Thinking Co. to work through for my high schoolers.

The Practical Critical Thinking student book comes in a paperback workbook style and the copyright gives you permission to make copies for each of your children. It has 378 pages and sells for $39.99.

The Teacher Manual also comes in paperback, has 68 pages of answers, 230 pages of reproducible activity pages found in the student book, and sells for $14.99. There is also an ebook version available for $9.99.

Practical Critical Thinking is broken down into 4 units. The units are broken down as follows:
  1. Becoming a Critical Thinker - This unit goes through what critical thinking is, why we should care, and how we might use it in our day to day thinking. 
  2. Adding to My Critical Thinking Toolbox - In this unit, students are taught how to tell fact versus opinion, logic skills, and some of the terms used in critical thinking such as emotional words, doublespeak, vagueness, etc.
  3. Critical Thinking and Arguments - This unit analyzes arguments (what they are and how to evaluate them) and fallacies (again defining what a fallacy is and how to detect them)
  4. Applying My Critical Thinking - This unit teaches students how to apply what they have learned.  They will apply their skills to advertising and breaking down evidence whether it be direct, circumstantial, or eyewitness testimony.
Within the units are 8 chapters. Each chapter is then broken down into lessons with an average of 8 lessons per chapter. We completed 3 lessons per week in our homeschool. I added the boys' sheets to their folders for the week and then we discussed their answers after they completed them.

Each chapter is full of mind benders, puzzles, and games to help students apply what they have learned about each critical thinking skill. Some of those were very difficult for my boys but they still enjoyed trying to work through them and if they could not, we would look through the answers together.

The Teacher Manual includes the answers to the lessons but on some of the harder questions, we still could not figure out how they got the answer they did. We found that the process of how to get the answers was not always clear and we often needed more details. Many answers will vary by student as they apply their own logic to the answers so discussion time is a must for this curriculum. The students can complete it independently but will need someone to bounce their answers around with.
We have only made it through Unit 2 so far but we would recommend this curriculum to homeschool families looking to teach logic skills to their children. There are also several ideas for individual and group activity ideas to complete at the end of each chapter which would make it fun to use in a coop setting too.

To find out more on The Critical Thinking Co. visit them on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest.

The Critical Thinking Co. offers many different choices in curriculum from PreK-12+. Click the banner below to see what my fellow crewmates thought about this and some of the other options available.

The Critical Thinking Company Review
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