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I joined Facebook about a year ago – primarily to access the NZIBO pages, but subsequently I found I quite enjoyed keeping up with what friends & family are up to. More recently I’ve added ‘entities’ like ScienceAlert, & through that particular link I’ve just found an excellent series of short videos on critical thinking. With the new NZ school year coming up, I thought it might be good to share them more widely.

So, here we go :-)

The first video in the series – produced by techNyou & funded by the Australian government – looks at basic logic & faulty arguments, & talks in passing about things like confirmation bias.

The second in the series discusses the structure of logical arguments & introduces the idea of logical fallacies.

Video #3 explains the ‘straw man’ logical fallacy:

The fourth clip reminds us that it’s not a good idea to accept arguments simply on the basis of whether or not we like someone – ask for the facts & evidence, & base decisions on that:

Number 5 reminds us that our brains are all too ready to ‘see’ patterns that aren’t really there, & brings in the idea of the ‘gambler’s fallacy’.

And the last one in the series so far is entitled ‘the precautionary principle’, and goes on to explain the nature of a scientific theory. (The precautionary principle needs to be used with care – you could say, with caution, lol – if we always waited for a 100% guarantee that all risks were identified, we might never act at all. Nor can science ever provide such a guarantee.

These videos are all clear, to the point, & brief – an excellent resource & basis for ongoing classroom discussion :-)