Teaching Against Racism

Minneapolis Community and Technical College lecturer Shannon Gibney (who is African America) was formally reprimanded by her university after three White male students complained that they were being made to study structural racism. One student interrupted Gibney during her  Mass Communications class and asked: “Why do we have to talk about this?” Continue reading Teaching Against Racism

Critical thinking

Visualising Critical Thinking: Series of short videos on how to formulate scientific arguments

Australian company Bridge 8 have visualised critical thinking concepts in a very clever way. Here’s their description of their work: 

Bridge8 cowrote produced, animated and directed a series of six critical thinking animations for TechNyou, an emerging technologies public information resource funded by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIISRTE).

It forms part of an education resource which covers basic logic, faulty arguments and the developing critical thinking skills. It’s designed for year 8-10 (but is just as appropriate for a general adult audience) and focuses on science issues. The accompanying education resource is found here.

All the videos are entertaining, informative and brief (2 minutes each). The video above is about the importance of formulating solid scientific arguments. Here’s some info about the others:

2) Broken Logic On non-sequiturs.

3) The Man who was made of straw About the difference of forming a scientific premise and making oversimplified arguments.

4) Getting Personal. How to avoid attacking a person and their opinions/behaviour and how to separate trusting an expert from trusting the scientific evidence they present. Example from environmentalism and climate change.

5) The Gambler’s Fallacy. Separating patterns of chance, luck and coincidence from probabilities. For example: sick people take some pills and then they get better. Was it the medicine that helped or some other cause? This needs to be tested.

6) A precautionary tale. Explains the precautionary principle. What are theories? They are scientific facts that have been tested empirically. They reflect the best knowledge science has available, but facts are never 100 percent certain because all knowledge is an evolving process. 

These videos are beautifully drawn and incredibly useful resources for visual sociology as well as for other sciences.

Initial link via Brainpickings.