Tag Archives: Skepticism

What is Critical Thinking & How Do You Improve It?


  What is Critical Thinking? In a nutshell, critical thinking is not believing anything… unless the evidence for it is sound. Encoded in this definition are three elements: A sustained skeptical attitude towards the ideas and information which come your … Continue reading

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Expand Your Consciousness In Four Steps


Expand Your Consciousness In Four Two Steps   STEP ONE: Because at some stage of your life you are going to anyway, try any combination of the following New Age 'consciousness-raising' techniques:

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The One True Conspiracy Theory?


You’ve got to love a good conspiracy theory. My favorite is the one about how Sir Paul McCartney is actually a doppelgänger who secretly replaced the first one after the original Paul’s unexpected death. Like all good conspiracy theories, this … Continue reading

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Is Teaching Critical Thinking The Most Important (And Most Under-Taught) Skill At School? #SlowChatEd


I sometimes think that my school indulges my madness too easily. A few years ago, I suggested that we offer Chess as an Option subject for our Grade 8s and 9s. I firmly believe that the lessons chess has to … Continue reading

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Controversial Tweets I’ll Never Send


CAUTION: IF YOU ARE RELIGIOUS, CONSERVATIVE OR SIMILARLY AFFLICTED, THIS POST MAY NOT BE FOR YOU.

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Opiate of the Masses: Richard Dawkins’s Brilliant Analogy


Opiate of the Masses (Excerpt) by Richard Dawkins It is a highly addictive drug, but governments everywhere encourage its use… I came across this excellent piece by Richard Dawkins on 'Gerin Oil' recently. It serves as an excellent analogy for … Continue reading

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Yes, Wikipedia is a Reliable Source. Stop Saying It Isn’t.


Like anything you come across on the internet, you do need to approach Wikipedia with a skeptical eye, but to say it is ‘unreliable’ smacks of either elitism or ignorance. And if educators are going to insist on demonizing Wikipedia, let them at least encourage their students to use it as a diving off point – it’s a great way to get an overview of a topic, and most often an incredible source of links to further ‘more reliable’ reading. Continue reading

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Why Birthdays Are Humbug (Except for Cheeseburgers & Granadilla Cakes)


Let’s get right to it: Don’t you hate those office whip-arounds and teas where everyone donates money and best wishes for a mom-to-be as she departs on maternity leave? You always feel compelled to give something because everyone else is … Continue reading

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Why I Teach (Part 1)


I teach to see the lights go on behind young people’s eyes when they discover something new about the world.

I teach to awaken them to what they can really do if they try.

I teach to show them that there isn’t always an easy solution, and that appreciating ambiguity and uncertainty is often worth more than easy answers… Continue reading

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6 of the Best Podcasts for Teachers, Autodidacts, Critical Thinkers & Other Interesting People


This is my favourite podcast of them all. Episodes are hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich and tackle a range of fascinating topics. Slick, clever and interesting. Get them all! Continue reading

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Ho Ho No! 8 Reasons Why I Really, REALLY Don’t Like Christmas.


I find the omnipresent, in-your-face, tinselly trappings of this time of year insulting to my senses and to my mind. Here are a few big reasons why I REALLY don’t like Christmas: Continue reading

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On The Mozart Effect, Learning Styles, Karma and Other Things I Wish Were True


Theories of differing intelligence types and learning styles are still valid, even if we don’t quite know how to leverage them effectively just yet. Every school is different, every teacher is different, every student is different. And all of these factors, plus thousands more combine in different ways for each individual child. We are hardly any closer to cracking the genome of an effective education if we discredit a small part of the sequence. We should not abandon a methodology that ‘has no measurable effect’, we should just think of ways to do it more effectively. Continue reading

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