Skeptic magazine – critical thinking for kids

The September 2019 issue of The Skeptic includes a special feature devoted to teaching critical thinking to kids – the curriculum, the target audience, the ethics of thinking, and frontline experience.

Tim Mendham, editor of The Skeptic, said “Critical thinking is an intrinsic element of science and scientific skepticism; in fact, it’s a critical element of everyday life. If that message can be brought home to people, that it’s not as hard or abstract as it sounds, then skepticism as we know it becomes a lot more manageable and comprehensible.

“Mention critical thinking to some people,” he says, “and they imagine an esoteric branch of philosophy that will be full of technical jargon and academic terms that are hard to understand and it’s just for people in the ivory tower. How will it help me with the shopping?”

And that’s exactly the point. Critical thinking applies to buying a fridge as much as it does to buying a religion. And in many ways it’s the same processes.

“It’s especially important that school kids are taught the basics of critical thinking. As the articles in the issue of the magazine show, this can be done in virtually every school subject – not just science and humanities like history and English, but fine arts, civics, languages, health and PE.”

Also in the issue is an in-depth article on extreme diets – at both extremes – as well as a comprehensive review of the famed Mahogany Ship, reviews of SGU and Dawkins’ latest books, and hello and farewell to skeptical podcasts and a long-lasting science magazine that is no more. Plus many other one-offs and regular items.

The Skeptic is published four times a year, with subscription available for hard copy and/or digital (subscribers to the hard copy can get the digital for free). A sample article from the September issue, reporting on chiropractors getting into areas well beyond their ‘qualifications’, is available here.

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