Logic as a high school elective?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by raneydae, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. raneydae

    raneydae Companion

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    Aug 8, 2009

    Hi all - I just been told that every teacher is required to teach an elective next year that corresponds to our credential. I have a secondary math credential as well as a multiple subject credential.

    I was thinking of teaching a Logic class. Not so much Logic/Debate, as I know very little about debate, but about syllogisms, fallacies, truth tables, etc. I taught a course this summer at CTY called Inductive/Deductive Reasoning and I know that a lot of logic is used in geometry...as well as in life!

    My questions are:
    1) Does anyone have any experience with teaching Logic at the secondary level? Is this offered at anyone's school?

    2) Do you think this would be a good elective to offer? Would students sign up for it?

    3) Anyone know of any good textbooks? I'd love to find something geared more towards high school than the formal logic often taught in college.

    Thanks - any help is much appreciated!! :)
     
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  3. MathManTim

    MathManTim Companion

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    Aug 9, 2009

    1) I can't say I've ever heard of a formal course on logic being taught in a high school. I wouldn't surprise me, though, to see it offered as an elective in some of the nation's more affluent school districts.

    2) The students most likely to sign up for it will probably be the more ambitious students. You should have little trouble convincing your top math and science students of the virtues of this course. You should also reach out to the students on the debate team, and those who are considering careers in law, business, and journalism. Even without the debate angle, I think future legal scholars would stand to benefit greatly from a course in formalized deductive reasoning.

    I'm guessing that most of your students in this course will probably be juniors and seniors. In any event, you might want to consider making geometry a prerequisite, particularly if you emphasize proof-writing in your geometry classes.

    3) Here is a link to the textbook the local Purdue campus is using for Philosophy 150 - Introduction to Logic:

    Introduction to Logic, by Irving Copi

    Yes, it's a college textbook, not a high school textbook. It is, however, designed for 100-level freshmen courses, so it should not be out of reach of the caliber of students who will most likely sign up for your course.

    Unfortunately, it's also priced like a college textbook which means instead of costing :2cents: , the price is more like :eek: :( .

    Hope this helps.

    G-Minus 8 days, 0 hours

    MathManTim
     
  4. Petite_Teacher

    Petite_Teacher Companion

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    This seems like an interesting course that students who are on top of their game academically will sign up for. Also those students who want a challenge will sign up as well.
     
  5. yarnwoman

    yarnwoman Cohort

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    Aug 9, 2009

    I work at a classical charter school. This year I will be teaching formal logic to 8th graders. Logic is required at our school. I do not know what they are using at the high school level. It is not really a single class but incorporated across our curriculum. I am taking "Formal Logic" by memoria press and this site http://tellerprimer.ucdavis.edu/

    The website is from Paul Teller and he says "A Modern Formal Logic Primer
    by Paul Teller

    Welcome to the A Modern Formal Logic Primer website. The Primer was published in 1989 by Prentice Hall, since acquired by Pearson Education. Pearson Education has allowed the Primer to go out of print and returned the copyright to me. I am now happy to make it available without charge for instructional and educational use.


    Each volume is broken into individual chapters. And each volume has an associated solutions manual (the last item under each volume). There is a file with corrections to both the text and the answer manual. Also note a file with the diagrammatic summary of the rules that appeared on the inside cover of the published version of the primmer. All files are in Adobe Acrobat PDF 6 format. – they require version 6, or newer, of Adobe, which can be down loaded here. All files are fully searchable.

    The answer manual was produced by Jennifer Faust, and I am eager to thank her for this and much other help in producing the Primer.

    There are also two links to Software that may be used with the Primer. Tom Weston’s “Prooftutor” is designed to be used with the Primer’s natural deduction system. Austen Clark has Logic Software for both natural deduction systems and truth trees.

    If you have problems, questions, or suggestions for the site, please email me at prteller@ucdavis.edu

    Enjoy!

    Paul Teller"


    Can I ask you what you used when you taught Inductive/Deductive Reasoning this summer?


    Thanks
     
  6. raneydae

    raneydae Companion

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    Aug 9, 2009

    Thank you so much for your suggestions MathManTim and yarnwoman! I will be looking at all of these books!

    MathManTim - great suggestion about possibly making geometry a prerequisite.

    yarnwoman - that is great that you are teaching Logic in 8th grade. I taught the Inductive/Deductive Reasoning course at a gifted summer program called CTY (Center for Talented Youth),that is put on by Johns Hopkins Univ. and has campuses all over the U.S. My students were going into 5th and 6th grade!

    It was only a 3-week program and we didn't use an actual textbook - well, the book The Number Devil was our "textbook" - but most of the logic components came from various worksheets or materials compiled by a previous instructor.

    It was an excellent program, and even though the students were gifted, I still had to break down the subject matter considerably (and found ways to keep it engaging!) so I feel as though high schoolers should be able to handle the course as well.

    How long have you been teaching a logic course?
     
  7. raneydae

    raneydae Companion

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  8. yarnwoman

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    This will be my first year. Last year I was supposed to but all the school had was logic puzzles. So I went looking for material to use.

    Now off to check out those to suggestions of yours.
     
  9. Ima Teacher

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    I have a minor in philosophy, so I taught a high school logic class as a "special interest" class. The kids who took the class liked it, but a lot of the kids didn't quite "get" what the class was. The only kids I had were ones from my English classes who had heard me talk about the class.
     
  10. SSA

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    Sounds like a great elective to offer. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of kids end up taking the class.
     
  11. Genmai

    Genmai Companion

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    Aug 16, 2009

    I believe some New York City schools require logic as part of their high school sequential math series. I suggest you get in touch with Alice on this forum - she teaches high school math in NYC.

    I took logic a million years ago in high school. Symbolic logic (A / B notation, conditionals, etc.) is exceedingly abstract, and the real life examples are strict, stiff and simplified. Example: Mary belongs to the Jazz Club. The Jazz Club is part of the Music Club. Therefore, Mary is a member of the Music Club.

    However, logic is a *FANTASTIC* primer for kids who want to learn computer programming later. I think the best way to teach this subject is via programming tie-ins - symbolic logic concepts are the backbone of Boolean algorithms for example.
     
  12. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 16, 2009

    Logic used to be part of the NY State math high school syllabus, particularly during the years when our courses were called Sequential Math.

    Freshman year, we did the basics: conditionals, conjunctions, disjunctions and so on, truth tables, and tautologies. Sophomore year learned logic proofs. The kids tended to enjoy Logic and found it relatively easy.

    Take a look at some old NY Regents exams:

    http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/regentsexams.htm

    You're looking for math, course I and course II.

    (And I'm in a Catholic high school in a suburb of NYC :) )
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Aug 16, 2009

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