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3 Stars Out Of 5
Sr. High level, not Jr. High students
October 9, 2013
The material is very well presented in the text. However, the concepts and Latin vocab are much too complex for Jr. High students. Suggested level should be for 11-12th graders. Preview before purchasing.
My daughter had to buy this book for Regent University Government 196! She read through it in a short time because she enjoyed it so much. It's a great book for any student with appropriate reading skills, but it's also useful enough to be used in a college class. Excellent book!
This is a very thorough curriculum. Though it has some playful examples, it is most serious about teaching the Art of Argument and discernment of an argument. The material is for a very mature jr. higher, but for an average student, it is better taught in high school. Make time to really delve into the concepts and find examples in current issues and conversations to help remember the fallacies. We took longer than a semester with it.
Classical Academic Press, rising star in the classical education market, distinguishes itself from other publishers with its smart layout and playful approach to challenging subject matter. The Art of Argument incorporates CAP's signature wit through its explanations, samples, and selections. For instance, in Lesson 5.4: Irrelevant Thesis, the author cites: "A good example [of a red herring argument] is how President Reagan deftly defused the `age' issue in his election race against Mondale by saying he wasn't going to make an issue of his opponent's youth and inexperience." Yet critical thinking is not presented as merely fun and games. The authors' Christian worldview shines through in the next paragraph, when another example demonstrates how the Red Herring fallacy is used to accuse Christians who oppose abortion. The student workbook--illustrated with more than 60 fictitious (and often ridiculously silly) ads--aims to teach junior high and high school students 28 informal fallacies. A quick reference of essential facts is printed inside the front and back covers. The teacher's materials provide an answer key to the student text plus quiz and test masters and keys. An on-line forum can be found at www.classicalacademicpress.com. Students can entice others toward critical thinking by performing the short skit titled, "Bill and Ted's Excellent Election." Overall, when used correctly, The Art of Argument can prepare students to recognize political and media manipulation before they've been duped. This world bombards us with persuasive arguments proclaiming what we need, how we should think, and what we should do. But as followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to be "in the world but not of the world"--and we are commanded to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind. (Luke 10:27) Students and teachers who work through these lessons will certainly be equipped to more effectively discern truth and use all their minds.