Better Thinking and Reasoning

Better Thinking and Reasoning

This great little book is easy to overlook among all of BJU Press' other offerings, but it deserves your attention. This is a logic course for high school students, but author Ron Tagliapietra also explains how it can be used as a resource or supplement for other courses. Thus, students might use it alongside history, math, speech, science, or English studies; in conjunction with one or more additional resources to create a complete logic course; or as a special unit within any of the above mentioned courses, a worldview study or some other option. Tagliapietra specifies which chapters of this book to use in each of these situations.

The book draws on scriptural truths and principles, oftentimes focusing on applications in apologetics. Because of this, I would also suggest the possibility of using it as an apologetics unit within a Bible class.

And, even though Tagliapietra mentions its use as part of a speech course, I think it should be of special interest to those preparing to participate in debate. Of all the logic resources I have reviewed, this one seems best suited to teach students how to make strong, logical arguments in debate. Because of this, I visualize a complete Logic/Debate course that would consist of this book, the debate tapes and book from Home School Legal Defense Association (see "Speech" resources), and How to Lie with Statistics.

The book focuses on definitions, truth (logical expressions and values), types of argument, and logical fallacies. Each chapter includes concepts with explanation and examples, applications, a summary, and questions. The content is very challenging in some of the chapters on expressions of truth statements, actually requiring students to do mathematical thinking and application. (Students must have studied both algebra 1 and geometry before starting this book.)

Questions are excellent, requiring students to demonstrate a grasp of the principles taught, to actually apply them, and do additional reading or research. The last question in each chapter directs students to research a key person in the field of logic and write a paragraph about his background and ideas.

A few times, students are directed to read from outside books. The only one that seemed to be recommended to be read in total was How to Lie with Statistics. Of course, parents can select which of the questions or assignments they require students to complete in any of these lessons.

Answers to questions are at the back of the book.

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Instant Key

  • Need For Parent or Teacher Instruction: moderate to high
  • Learning Environment: all situations
  • Grade Level: grades 9-12
  • Religious Perspective: Protestant

Publisher's Info

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