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Saturday, March 10, 2012

TOS Review: The Art of Argument

"Classical Academic Press produces superlative educational materials to advance the revival of classical education. We specialize in subjects such as Latin and logic, presented clearly and creatively, to equip and engage both students and teachers. These programs are the continuing, collaborative effort of distinguished scholars, teachers, and designers."

When I told my 15 year old that we were going to be getting a new item for review, she was really excited especially when I told her the title of the course.  The Art of Argument was something she had a definite interest in (and already had a head start at being good at.)  We received The Art of Argument an Introduction to the Informal Fallacies Student Book, Teacher's Edition, and Introductory DVD from Classical Academic Press to use and review. 

Written for students in grades 7-9 or High School students who have not been exposed to Logic before, 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."  Students will master 28 fallacies such as begging the question, false analogy, appeal to fear, and appeal to ignorance over the course of 6 chapters in the student text.  This workbook style text uses practical applications of today's issues.  The text uses 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 student text is $21.95.  You can view a sample chapter by clicking here.

The Teacher's Edition  $24.95 contains the entire student text, answers to all exercises, chapter, and unit tests. A sample chapter of the Teacher's Edition can be found here.

The DVD $54.95 set is a teaching video that compliments the text.  The videos feature 3 logic teachers and 4 students discussing the 28 fallacies presented in The Art of Argument.  Each video segment features one fallacy that is presented, defined, and discussed using humor, enthusiasm, and humor.  

The DVD set contains:
  • 5 DVDs containing a total of more than 8 hours of video
  • 28 videos—one for each fallacy contained in The Art of Argument text
  • Fun outtakes, extras, and “logical” humor
To see a sample video click here.

To purchase all three items together in one bundle for $88.95 click here.

I have to admit when we first received the books, I read through them hoping for some idea of how exactly I was supposed to teach the course.  I never took a logic course when I was in school and was unsure of how exactly I was supposed to teach it.  I thought there would be a schedule to follow giving me a better idea of how much to do in one sitting and how many times a week.  I also had no idea whether or not it was better to watch the video then do the lesson or do the lesson and watch the video.  Fortunately, Chelsea (15) is at an age where she handles most of her schoolwork on her own.  She opened the book and started working through it. She read through a section at a time and answered the questions for that section, watching the video after she completed the fallacy.  She really has been enjoying working through this text.  When she has had difficulty in answering the questions correctly, we consulted the Teacher's Edition and easily found the correct answer to her problem.  Her favorite parts are the dialogues between Socrates, Nathan, and Tiffany.  The text uses many different kinds of examples that all apply to real life.  The complimentary DVD's were interesting.  It can be helpful to actually see in action what you are being taught on paper, but they are not a necessity to have to complete this course. 

To see what other crew mates had to say click here.

I received a complimentary copy of The Art of Argument for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review.  I received no other compensation.

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