Friday, March 9, 2012

The Art of Argument (TOS Review)

imageDoes your student like to argue? Then he or she might love the idea of this course by Classical Academic Press and you might not!  However, the course doesn’t actually teach your child to talk back! Whew!

The Art of Argument: An Introduction to the Informal Fallacies, is actually a logic course for 7th graders and up.  It teaches teens to identify 28 informal fallacies, enabling them to detect misleading advertising, political campaigning, and so on.

The text includes dialogues, worksheets, real-world applications, phony advertisements, dialectic discussion questions, tests, and fun extras, including a short story and a skit.  The teacher’s guide includes the complete student text plus answer keys, quizzes, and tests. The DVD set features teachers and students discussing each of the 28 fallacies.

We enjoyed using The Art of Argument. Emily is in the sixth grade and I think the curriculum would have been a better fit if we had waited a year, but she was still able to understand the concepts and we had some good discussions. The chapters are short, but meaty enough to provide good discussion about each fallacy. Emily especially enjoyed the “ads” in each chapter that provided examples of each fallacy.

We also found the DVDs to be very helpful in cementing the concepts and providing additional examples. They are not a necessary component, but I appreciated having a “teacher” covering the basics and hearing several students giving their own examples was helpful as well.

After covering the first 7 fallacies, Emily (and I) are beginning to be able to pick out and label fallacies that we see in advertising. I think this will be a useful tool in developing her critical thinking skills.

If you are looking for a beginning logic program for your middle schooler, this might be a great choice for you!

5/5 stars

StarStarStarStarStar

The Art of Argument is $21.95. The teacher’s edition is $24.95 and the corresponding DVD set is $54.95.  To read more reviews of the Art of Argument, please visit the TOS Crew Blog.

As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this book set free from Classical Academic Press in order to write this review. All opinions are my own.

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