Friday, March 16, 2012

The Art of Argument by Classic Academic Press

The Art of Argument, An Introduction to Informal Fallacies

"My chief objection to a quarrel," Chesterton wrote, "is that it ends a good argument."

From their website:

"Junior high aged students will argue (and sometimes quarrel), but they won't argue well without good training. Young teens are also targeted by advertisers with a vengeance. From billboards to commercials to a walk down the mall, fallacious arguments are everywhere you look. The Art of Argument was designed to teach the argumentative adolescent how to reason with clarity, relevance and purpose at a time when he has a penchant for the "why" and "how". It is designed to equip and sharpen young minds as they live, play, and grow in this highly commercial culture. This course teaches students to recognize and identify twenty-eight informal fallacies, and the eye-catching text includes over sixty slick and clever, “phony advertisements” for items from blue jeans to pick-up trucks, which apply the fallacies to a myriad of real life situations.

This text comes in a workbook format with clear explanations and many updated illustrations and examples to insure understanding and mastery. The text aims at the practical application of the informal fallacies through an analysis of current social, commercial and political issues, which are discussed and evaluated. This practical application should insure that students continue to evaluate arguments, detect fallacies and reason well long after the course is completed."

Students master 28 fallacies (such as begging the question, the straw man, ad hominen, et al) by studying many pertinent examples. The text features a variety of:
  • Dialogues
  • Worksheets
  • Real-World Applications
  • Phony Advertisements
  • Dialectic Discussion Questions
  • Tests
  • Fun extras such as a humorous skit for students to perform, and the famous short story, Love is a Fallacy by Max Shulman
The Basic Bundle, including Student Workbook and Teacher's Edition is just $88.95

 The Art of Argument DVD Set ($54.95) is also available. The DVD Set features three experienced logic teachers and four capable, enthusiastic students discussing the 28 fallacies with contemplation and humor. Each discussion seeks to make a practical application of the fallacy to student life, advertisements, political speech, and various kinds of ethical and philosophical debates.

See a sample of Art of Argument here.

The Bentz Test Laboratory loved this program!  But, really - "argument" as a school subject?  They couldn't believe their good fortune! They would have done this "just for fun!"  (By the way, isn't that the way school is supposed to look?!)  The information is presented in a clear, engaging way.  It's easy for them to just jump right in.  If you don't feel comfortable with teaching logic, or have never had any background with it - the Teacher's Guide is an invaluable tool for you.  Beware, teaching them this subject could (and will) be used against you.  You better be prepared.

Teaching our children to think critically is such an important skill!  You can't afford not to.  Just open a newspaper, turn on a TV, or "I-anything"... and your children will be bombarded with messages using these very arguments! 

I think I'm learning as much, or more than they are... and, we're all having fun spotting what we have learned in real life! (Once again, isn't that how school is supposed to look?!)

We are huge fans of everything put out by Classical Academic Press (go check out their other products - Latin, Spanish, and more!)

See what the other members of the TOS Review Crew thought here.

I was sent a complimentary set in exchange for my honest opinion as part of the TOS Review Crew.

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