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Teaching Critical Thinking In History Reduces Belief In Pseudoscience

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A new study has been released showing that teaching critical thinking in a history course makes those same students more skeptical of pseudoscience (see Critical thinking instruction in humanities reduces belief in pseudoscience).

It sounds like a fair amount of what they taught in that history class is similar to what we teach in Theory of Knowledge, including fallacies (The Best Multimedia Resources For Learning About Fallacies — Help Me Find More) and historical frauds.

If found this study particularly interesting because of other research discussed last week by Daniel Willingham (Better ELA teaching yields better math performance. But not vice versa). It suggests that Social Emotional Learning Skills and reading skills that students learn in English improve students’ math performance, but that not much is learned in math that helps in English.

Perhaps both math and science teachers might want to consider incorporating more critical thinking, SEL, and reading instruction in their courses?

You might be interested in The Best Resources On Teaching & Learning Critical Thinking In The Classroom, which includes my British Council piece on integrating critical thinking skills into English Language Learner instruction.

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

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