3/23/13

{Crew Review} Discovery of Deduction

Classical Academic Press

I have always been fascinated by the subject of logic.  I fell in love with those logic puzzles, the kind you can purchase at the grocery store check out counters.  Logic is a necessary component to being able to think critically. Studying logic is a requirement in my homeschool.  I want my girls to be able to evaluate a claim or argument and find the logical flaws.  I want them to be able to construct an argument that contains no logical fallacies. Above all I want them to think and to reason in every area of their lives.

Classical Academic Press offers several logic programs and this time the Schoolhouse Review Crew had the opportunity to review  Discovery of Deduction: An Introduction to Formal Logic.  We received both the Student Edition ($26.95) and the Teacher Edition ($29.95).

What is Logic?

Logic is the art of reasoning and it is the science of reasoning.  Logic is either informal or formal.  What does that mean?  Informal logic tends to be more inductive with a focus on evaluating the content of an argument.  We became familiar with informal logic through Classical Academic Press’s Art of Argument. 

If informal logic is inductive, consists mostly of studying fallacies and evaluates the content of an argument, what is formal logic?  Formal logic is more concerned with the form of an argument.  It is reasoning in the abstract.

The Student Book:

Discovery of Deduction contains four units unequally divided into 9 chapters.  Each chapter is further divided into several lessons.  Some chapters have as few as 2 lessons whereas the longest chapter has 8 lessons.  Classical Academic Press provides a free downloadable PDF file with several suggested lesson plans for a year long course or a semester long course.

Cover Image of the Discovery of Deduction Student Edition

In addition to the lessons, the book also contains several appendices, endnotes, a glossary, and a bibliography.   The regular lessons all have a similar frame work.  The lessons begin with a Points to Remember section followed by the text of the lesson.  There is a review section with questions for the students to complete and the lesson ends with a Deduction in Action.  In some chapters there is a Dialogue instead of a lesson.  The Dialogue demonstrates a chapter concept through conversation between Socrates and fictional college students, Nate or Tiffany and their friends.

The Teacher’s Edition:

The Teacher’s Edition is identical to the student book with one notable exception; the book for teachers includes the answers.  For the regular  chapter work the answers are included with the student text.  For the Deduction in Action sections, the answers are included in a separate  section at the back of the book.  I appreciate having both a Student Edition and Teacher Edition.  This allows the students in our family to work independently.  I can use the Teacher Edition and scan the questions with answers for discussion sessions.  It would be nice if the Deduction in Action answers were with the assignments, however this set up makes logical sense to me.  (Yes, pun intended.)

How It Worked in Our Home:

Discovery of Deduction: An Introduction to Formal Logic can be used with children as young as 8th grade.  We’re using it here with students in 8th, 10th and 12th grade.

Boobear will be graduating in June and we want to include Logic on her transcript.  She used the Semester- Long Schedule as a guideline for her own pacing.  She scheduled her time for M-W-F classes of 60 minutes.  This works out to be an average of two lessons per day.  Notice the word average.  Some of the Deduction in Action assignments required more work and she would do one of those but not a lesson.  The suggested schedule is divided into 18 weeks of 5 days a week assignments.

Turtlegirl and Tailorbear also worked scheduled Discovery of Deduction three times a week; however they only worked for 45 minute sessions and used the full year schedule for their frame. 

This means that each of the three girls worked through the material independently but because they are all studying the same material (just at different paces) this meant we’ve had some lively discussion.

Some Notes:

  • Boobear noted that in a few places she felt the questions were looking for details that had not yet been covered and often those details would be covered in the next lesson.  It was as if the question was placed just a wee bit early.
  • The suggested schedules include quizzes and tests that are not available from Classical Academic Press. This is clearly stated in the PDF download. We’ve opted to just base her grade on the questions from the text.
  • Some of the chapters include more than one Deduction in Action.  I think those are my favorite sections!

Thoughts from BooBear (age 17, 12th Grade):

I really really enjoyed when we did Art of Argument so when I heard that we would get to review Discovery of Deduction I was very excited. I like how the book is formatted with the lessons and the questions. I enjoy the Deduction in Action but most of the time the links that were provided did not work which was frustrating. This book covers each topic very thoroughly and keeps the information fresh in your mind by using it in later lessons. I like the practical examples of how you use deduction in you life without even thinking it. I have been very much enjoying this book.

Thoughts from Tailorbear (age 14, 8th grade):

I love Discovery of Deduction! It breaks down most things about logic I don’t understand and makes them . . . well, easier to understand. I like the format.  I like how each lesson starts with a Points to Remember section.  I like the Dialogues.

Thoughts from Turtlegirl (age 15, 10th grade):

I really like Discovery of Deduction. I love that they have ‘Points to Remember’ at the start of each lesson. The lessons themselves are very easy to understand. I like that they have different types of questions for review. I enjoy the Deduction in Action sections, which really helped me apply what I was learning. I love how well they explain the material, plus I love how they build off what you have learned previously. It is a really great program. I highly recommend it for those who wish to study formal logic.

Classical Academic Press recommends completing a study of informal logic before beginning Discovery of Deduction: An Introduction to Formal Logic; however they do also state that Discovery stands alone as a formal study of logic.  

Visit the Logic Section of the Classical Academic Press website to see all the resources they have available.

Visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog to read what others have to say about Discovery of Deduction: An Introduction to Formal Logic. Some crew members reviewed Art of Poetry.

All information is correct and accurate as of the date of this review.

You can read my other Schoolhouse Review Crew Reviews by clicking here.

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