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Monday, January 25, 2010

Looking for Logic in all the Wrong Places

As part of an interdisciplinary unit students at my school are reading The Perfect Shot by Elaine Marie Alphin. The book, a YA murder mystery, covers several themes, but I decided to focus on deductive reasoning by creating a murder mystery "party game."

I constructed a narrative and then split it up amongst the teachers in the school. We are a small alternative program so I was only working with seven teachers. The students were then supposed to interrogate the teachers to discover motive, means and opportunity. These eyewitness accounts were supplement by "evidence" that I supplied.

Slow to start, students eventually got the hang of the assignment. In the final days leading up to the essay that would explain their theory of the crime, one of the students proclaimed, "I don't know what to ask."

I pointed out that drawing conclusions is what we have to do on a daily basis, and that it is extremely important to make sure that we are always asking the right questions.

Several hours later I was still pondering the student's statement and realized that I should not be teaching answers, but should instead be teaching questions.

So the question is how do I turn my students into interrogators, detectives, deductives (deducers) (those that deduce) and inductives (inducers).