Research Group
in Analytic Philosophy

Critical Reasoning in Philosophy Education at Schools (Reaschool)

Convenors: Roger Deulofeu and Thomas Sturm

Democracies depend upon citizens having sufficient skills and habits of critically discussing and evaluating aplurality of positions and arguments - in short, powers of Critical Reasoning (CR). Nowadays, CR is challenged through increasing propaganda, populism, and polarization (PPP). This group aims to study how to improve the teaching CR in philosophy at schools. What do (future) citizens need to learn to see through PPP strategies, and to argue rationally about political issues of the day? Philosophers use theories of CR such as logic, theories of probability or rational choice, or insights from epistemology and philosophy of science. Psychologists have developed theories of human reasoning, its strengths, and weaknesses. We will discuss conceptions of “critical thinking”; we will compare school education in philosophy in different countries; we will compare textbooks and proposals for discussing what materials and methods might work best for boosting CR skills and attitudes. - The seminar is related to a project on Critical reasoning, philosophy at secondary schools, and the education of democratic citizens funded by of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.
Selected Fridays, 11:30-1:30h
Sala de videoconferencies (=Seminari B11) 
Facultat de Filosofia i Lletres, UAB

1: Oct. 13, 2023: The concept of critical thinking/reasoning in education
Siegel, H. 1980. Critical thinking as an educational ideal. The Educational Forum, 45, 7-23.
Pithers, R. T. & Soden, R. 2000. Critical thinking in education: A review. Educational Research, 42, 237–249.
Invited talk: 
MONDAY, Oct 23, 3:00-5:00h: Philip Kitcher (Columbia University): 
The Centrality of Education
2: Nov. 17, 2023, 18:00-20:00h: Kickoff-meeting for the project (Online)
(with discussion of: Burkard, A., Franzen, H., Löwenstein, D., Romizi, D., & Wienmeister, A. 2021. Argumentative skills: A systematic framework for teaching and learning. Journal of Didactics of Philosophy, 5, 72-100.)
3: Dec. 15, 2022: Philosophy at schools: Country reports 
Oosthoek, D. 2018. Country report: Philosophy at secondary schools in The Netherlands. Journal of Didactics of Philosophy, 2, 18-20.
Diaz, G. 2019. Country report: Philosophy at secondary schools in Spain – Part I. Journal of Didactics of Philosophy, 3, 84-87.
Diaz, G. 2020. Country report: Philosophy at secondary schools in Spain – Part II. Journal of Didactics of Philosophy, 4, 34-37.
Herla, A. 2020. Country report: Philosophy at secondary schools in Belgium. Journal of Didactics of Philosophy, 4, 118-120.
Wright, I. 2001. Critical thinking in the schools: Why doesn't much happen? Informal Logic, 22, 137-154.
Sprod, T. 2014. Philosophical inquiry and critical thinking in primary and secondary science education. In M. R. Matthews (ed.), International handbook of research in history, philosophy and science teaching. Dordrecht: Springer, 1531–1564.
4: Jan. 19, 2024: Basic capacities for critical reasoning in children
Cesana-Arlotti, N. et al. 2018. Precursors of logical reasoning in preverbal infants. Science, 359, 1263-1266.
Zhu, L. & Gigerenzer, G. 2006. Children can solve Bayesian problems: The role of representation in mental computation. Cognition, 98, 287–308.
5: Feb. 16, 2024: Teaching critical reasoning I
Cheng, P., Holyoak, K.J., Nisbett, R.E. & Oliver, L. 1986. Pragmatic versus syntactic approaches to training deductive reasoning. Cognitive Psychology, 18, 293-328.
6: March 8, 2024: Teaching critical reasoning II
Hapaz, Y. 2010. Conflicting logics in teaching critical thinking. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines25, 5-17. 
Harrell, M. 2012. Assessing the efficacy of argument diagramming to reach critical     thinking skills in introduction to philosophy. Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the   Disciplines, 27, 31–39.
7: March 22, 2024: Teaching critical reasoning III
Bishop, M. & Conway, P. (under review). Can rules of reasoning be taught?
Gigerenzer, G. 2020. When all is just a click away: Is critical thinking obsolete in the digital age? In R. Sternberg & D. Halpern (eds.), Critical thinking in psychology (pp. 197-223). Cambridge UP.
8: April 12, 2024: What to include in courses? Textbook comparisons I
Johnson, S. & Siegel, H. 2010. Teaching thinking skills. London: Bloomsbury.
Foresman, D., Fosl, P. & Carlin Watson, J. 2011. The critical thinking toolkit. Chichester: Wiley.
9: May 3, 2024: What to include in courses? Textbook comparisons II
Kelley, D. 2014. The art of reasoning: An introduction to logic and critical thinking. New York & London: W.W. Norton.
Levin, A. 2020. Thinking well: a logical and critical thinking textbook. Creative commons.
10: May 24, 2024: What to include in courses? Textbook comparisons III
Cohen, M. 2015. Critical thinking skills for dummies. Chichester: Wiley.
Moshman, D. 2020. Reasoning, argumentation, and deliberative democracy. London: Routledge.
11: Jun 14, 2024: Critical reasoning and science education
Siegel, H. 2014. The rationality of science, critical thinking, and science education. Synthese, 80, 9-41.