HSLDA Online Academy | Logic & Critical Thinking

Logic & Critical Thinking

Master Teacher:  Benjamin Guido

Ben GuidoMaster Teacher

Benjamin Guido

PhD Candidate, Baylor University
BA, Patrick Henry College

Benjamin Guido began life in Connecticut. He was homeschooled through adolescence and then studied classical liberal arts at Patrick Henry College (PHC) in Virginia. He went on to study philosophy at Baylor University in Texas, where he is currently finishing a dissertation in ethics and philosophy of language on the topic of lying and verbal deception.

While studying at PHC, Benjamin realized his limitless love for teaching and learning. He has taught logic at the college level for several years, and continues to study theory and methodology to improve his teaching. His wife Stephanie, an Academy Classroom Teacher for the last two years, helped him develop this course specifically for the Academy’s high school students.

Beyond academics, Benjamin enjoys myriad activities, but chief among them are distance running, playing and teaching piano, tabletop gaming, literature and film, and becoming a handyman around the home. Benjamin enjoys engaging his five-year-old daughter and three-year-old son in everything he pursues, including logic and language.

Classroom Teacher:  David Tyrrell

David TyrrellClassroom Teacher

David Tyrrell

BA, Patrick Henry College

David Tyrrell received his bachelor’s degree in classical liberal arts from Patrick Henry College with an emphasis in philosophy, and he is currently pursuing a Master of Divinity in Christian ministry from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in preparation for pastoral work.

David considers clear reasoning and careful thought to be an integral part of loving God and loving one’s neighbor. Throughout the Bible, God reasons with his people. The greatest commandment includes loving God with one’s mind, and God calls us to train ourselves to discern good and evil. The study of logic offers an excellent opportunity to hone one’s reasoning abilities.

David enjoys taking walks with his wife, spending time with friends, and reading. Some of his favorite authors include John Piper, John Frame, and J.I. Packer.

David’s wife Caroline teaches AP® United States History and English 3 for the Academy. The two of them live in Louisville, Kentucky, and are expecting their first child in the summer.

Duration: One-semester course offered in fall and spring (16 weeks).
Suggested High School Credit Value: 1/2 credit.
Suggested Grade Level: 10th grade level and up.
Tuition: $335 for HSLDA Members/$385 for non-HSLDA Members. 

Description: In Logic & Critical Thinking, students learn how to use and interpret language to reason well. They study logic as the science of thinking, as something found in God’s nature, and which guides all areas of human inquiry. This course will aid students in preparation for the SAT or ACT.
Watch a short intoduction from Course Developer Benjamin Guido. 

Logic & Critical Thinking  — Live Online Class Session Schedule, Fall 2017

Class Section

Weekly Meeting Time

Instructors

Section 1
Closed – Section is Full
Mondays, 10:00–11:30 a.m. Eastern Mr. Benjamin Guido
Section 2
Tuesdays, 3:00–4:30 p.m. Eastern Mr. Benjamin Guido;
Mr. David Tyrrell 
Section 3
Closed – Section is Full
Wednesdays, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Eastern Mr. Benjamin Guido
Additional class times will be added as they become available for registration. If you have questions, please call 540-338-8290 or email academy@hslda.org.

Frequently Asked Questions about
Logic & Critical Thinking

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  • What topics will I learn about in Logic & Critical Thinking?

    As a one-semester high school course, Logic & Critical Thinking focuses on helping students become familiar with the key facets of sound reasoning. The course involves weekly readings, recorded lectures, and homework exercises; monthly exams, and culminates with a short capstone paper.

    Before discussing the topics covered, many students and parents will appreciate a brief introduction to logic and critical thinking.

    Logic is part reading comprehension and part math, but more practical and more fun, (unless you’re already a math lover).

    Similar to how we solve math equations, we analyze arguments using logic to determine whether the given information leads to a good conclusion. 

    We need critical thinking skills to help us interpret information we read in the news or hear in our daily conversations. Critical thinking helps us find the logic amidst rhetoric, biases, vagueness, and other fallacies that can obscure or hamper reasoning.

    Almost half the course is spent on aspects of critical thinking such as

    • thinking and communicating clearly
    • separating rhetoric from logic
    • spotting various type of fallacious reasoning.

    Alongside, these aspects, students study aspects of logic such as

    • understanding the flow of arguments
    • recognizing argument forms
    • categorical (Aristotelian) logic with Venn diagrams
    • and truth-functional logic with an introduction to truth tables and formal argument proofs (the fun math side).

    Throughout this process, we will read and discuss short Christian readings on logic. We approach logic as an important structure within God’s creation. Logic enables reasoning which helps us understand, and function well within, the world.

    God’s word makes clear that He interacts with us as thinking beings. So thinking well is especially important for Christians.

    Content Disclaimer: Please note, we will spend time in class analyzing controversial topics and real-world debates. We do not shy away from these topics, since it is important for students to learn how to interpret ideas they will hear on the news and in everyday conversations. However, we do our best to address all topics from a student-friendly and biblical perspective. 

     

  • Am I ready to take Logic & Critical Thinking

    While there are no special prerequisites for this course, having certain skills and abilities will reduce the stress and workload of this course considerably.

    Logic is a mix between mathematics and reading comprehension—it uses the same skills. So, the more comfortable students are with these two subjects, the more ready they are to succeed. If students struggle with both math and reading comprehension, then they will need to be prepared to spend more time and energy working to master and apply the skills being taught. However, Logic & Critical Thinking is especially useful for students who struggle with reading comprehension or with thinking analytically, and it can do wonders for many students’ SAT or ACT prep for this reason.

    Though the course is designed for students in the 10th grade level and up, the textbook is a college-level text. However, it is an especially straightforward and clear textbook, and should be very readable for most students. Additionally, a basic understanding of sentence grammar (e.g., recognition of subjects, predicates, conjunctions) will go a long way in making aspects of this course more accessible from the start, though students can usually pick up some of this along the way.

    This course involves very little writing, but it does involve consistent homework exercises, which are indispensable. Students with already-developed analytic skills will probably spend 5-7 hours a week, all told (including lectures and live sessions); some students may need to spend closer to 10 hours a week to do well.

  • What if I have a schedule conflict with listed Logic & Critical Thinking class times?

    All live class sessions are recorded for later viewing. While it is recommended that students attend each live class session, students can make arrangements to watch the recordings and receive full participation credit.

    Students should contact their instructor at the start of their course to inform the instructor of any foreseen schedule conflicts. 

  • What is a Live Online Class Session in Logic & Critical Thinking?

    In every HSLDA Academy course, students meet weekly with their instructor and classmates in an online classroom for additional teaching, discussion, Q&A, or group activities. The class sessions are interactive and are conducted using a web meeting software with video, audio, chat, and application sharing capabilities.

    Scheduled, real-time sessions in the online classroom are not the only form of instruction available in a HSLDA Online Academy course, but are offered in addition to lectures or other instructional materials that students are able to access online at their convenience.

    When they register, students will need to select a particular class section and live class meeting time. Additional class sections may be added to the schedule at a later point in the course registration period. Registered students will be notified of any changes to the live session schedule.

  • What is the tuition for Logic & Critical Thinking?

    Please visit our tuition and discounts page for a full summary about course costs.

    HSLDA members save $50 on yearlong high school courses!