File /Humanist.vol22.txt, message 117

Date: Sat, 12 Jul 2008 12:31:29 +0100
From: "Humanist Discussion Group \(by way of Willard McCarty              <>\)" <willard-AT-LISTS.VILLAGE.VIRGINIA.EDU>
Subject: 22.115 new on WWW: Learning critical thinking, 16 July
To: <humanist-AT-Princeton.EDU>

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 22, No. 115.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to:

         Date: Sat, 12 Jul 2008 12:24:05 +0100
         From: Tim van Gelder <>
         Subject: Colloquium - Teaching Critical 
Thinking Online - Wed 16 July, 12.30 at Austhink

Austhink is pleased to announce a colloquium with 
A/Prof Francesco Paoli, University of Cagliari, Italy:


Austhink Seminar Room, Level 9, 255 Bourke St Melbourne Ph +61 3 8317 1002


The methodological starting point of the 
experiences on which I will report can be 
summarised as follows: as we are taught by recent 
educational research, learning how to reason and 
how to think critically does not involve in a 
significant way only verbal reasoning, but also 
spatial/visual reasoning  especially when the 
learners are secondary school and college 
students who are unconsciously trained to this 
kind of reasoning by their practise of the web and of other new media.

I will present a course of logic, argumentation 
and critical thinking designed for students of an 
online programme in communication studies. Its main features are:

- videorecorded lectures are synchronised with 
power point charts where concepts are illustrated 
by means of diagrams, drawings, cartoons;

- learning units include fictions where reasoning 
patterns and fallacies are presented "in vivo";

- learning tools include collaborative tools such 
as an online tutoring system, a dedicated forum, 
a dedicated chat, and individual self-assessment tools.

I will also illustrate a programme aimed at 
curbing secondary school drop-out by enhancing 
critical thinking abilities, carried out in some 
technical and art schools of Sardinia. After 
presenting the theoretical basics of critical 
thinking, we engaged students in some workshops 
(analysing newspaper articles, analysing contents 
from TV and from the web, writing screenplays for 
fictions which have been subsequently performed 
and videorecorded by the students themselves). We 
also used a "Second Life-like" virtual 
interactive environment to develop a 
collaborative assessment tool and to upload the 
materials produced by the classes. We aim at 
expanding such a tool into a virtual "critical 
thinking simulator" where students can rehearse 
and refine their reasoning patterns by 
interacting in appropriate ways with other avatars  or even chatbots.


Francesco Paoli is an Associate Professor of 
Logic at the Department of Education of the 
University of Cagliari, Italy. He is also 
scientific coordinator of the project "Enhancing 
logical and argumentative abilities in high 
school students" (POR Sardegna 2000-2006, m.3.6). 
His research interest include mathematical and 
philosophical logic, universal algebra, and 
critical thinking. He authored the book 
Substructural Logics: A Primer (Kluwer, 
Dordrecht, 2002) and several papers published on 
international journals (including Journal of 
Symbolic Logic, Journal of Philosophical Logic, 
Synthese, Australasian Journal of Philosophy). 
His main chance to practise critical thinking on 
a daily basis, however, is given by the 
terrifying "whys" of his 6-years old son.

Austhink Software, Level 9, 255 Bourke St Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
Ph +61 3 8317 1002 ext 102 Fax +61 3 9663 9720 Skype timvangelder
- Making decisions easier


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