Friday, March 16, 2012

Review of The Art of Argument

Thanks to the Crew, we already use Classical Academic Press' Latin for Children and Greek for Children, so I was thrilled when a friend of mine (who teaches at a Christian, classical school) told me that the CAP also had a logic program.  I consider it very much a God thing, then, when I was selected to review the same program she was raving about! The Art of Argument is the first book in CAP's logic series.  This book (which has a wonderful teachers' manual available for separate purchase) introduces students in grades 7 and up to the 28 logical fallacies.  Through the use of full-page ad examples, students learn very quickly to identify these fallacies for themselves.  The fallacies are introduced both through an explanation in the text and through a dialogue between Socrates, Tiffany, and Nate.  As the teacher, I always read the part of Socrates, while my daughter is Tiffany.  When Nate joins in the conversation, my son obligingly joins in.

Like all of CAP's materials, The Art of Argument is directed toward students and is almost compulsively readable.  Had I let her, my daughter would have read the whole book in one day.  It was only because I wanted to give her the opportunity to fully marinate in the fallacies that I have insisted that we stretch it out to a more appropriate course length!  Each chapter closes with a few simple questions for students to answer.

The teachers' manual includes the entire student manual, as well as a *lot* more supplementary information.  Even if you've taught logic or taken logic before, you will undoubtedly find much to aid your teaching in this manual.  I have a minor in philosophy, and I was thrilled with all of the information in the teachers' manual.  However, if you are on a budget, the student manual is a complete course unto itself.

CAP also has available for separate purchase, a DVD set of discussions of each of the individual 28 fallacies studied.  While I previewed the first DVD and found it helpful, it is definitely not essential for this course.  If you like a full package curriculum, though (with teachers' manual, student book, and DVD set), then this course is ideal for you! Also, because students do not have to write in the book (separate notebook paper works fine for the questions at the end of the chapters), you will be able to reuse it with multiple children.

I am so thrilled to have been exposed to Classical Academic Press.  Now that we are using their materials for three classes, I already know that when we study Spanish, this will be our go-to company.  The customer service is wonderful, the materials are excellent, and everything is so user friendly! The Art of Argument is available on their website for the following prices:

We loved The Art of Argument! To see other opinions, visit the Crew blog!

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