Most schools teach students only what to know. We teach students how to think critically and creatively about the things they learn. Critical thinking is the process of analyzing, synthesizing, evaluating, and applying information.
K-5 Students learn how to think like a mathematician. Middle schoolers learn logic, both formal and informal, and finally learn to use 8 years of logical reasoning classes in our own Philosophy course.
The first six years spent at Self Development Academy, students learn the basics of logical and mathematical thinking.
Drawing inspiration from gifted math problems, Self Development Academy developed their K-5 program to teach the skills in which gifted children are so proficient–visual and verbal analogies, manipulations of arithmetic and algebraic—students learn how critique, analyze, reason in these early grades.
In Kindergarten, students are exposed to logic puzzles and foundational aspects of logical thinking. By 6th grade, students learn about logical fallacies and problematic argumentation (informal logic) as well as propositional and categorial logic (formal logic); by 8th grade, they learn philosophy.
Once equipped with the basics of mathematical thinking, 6th grade students learn informal logic, fallacies and faulty reasoning.
7th grade students learn formal logic, deduction, symbolic logic, propositional logic, and truth tables. Informal logic teaches students how to carefully use inductive logic and formal logic teaches how to use deductive logic.
Now able to reason and spot errors in reasoning, students can learn philosophy, critique it, show its worst moments, and perhaps even make it better. This is nothing less than the age-old pursuit of truth and knowledge, not for any reason other than the simple enjoyment of thinking itself.
Self Development Academy’s Unique Mathematical Thinking Curriculum
Despite learning advanced math, many teenagers struggle with basic logical thinking, often to the frustrations of their parents. This is understandable, learning how to apply algebraic and geometric formulas to problems is completely different than the mathematical reasoning in discovering those formulas. Again, students learn what, not how.
Together, critical and creative thinking provide students with a toolbox of skills they can use whenever they encounter problems, unfamiliar information, and new ideas. At Self Development Academy, we believe critical and creative thinking are essential skills and will be increasingly important in the classrooms and careers of tomorrow.
Advanced logical and critical thinking programs help our students understand not only what is going on but why it is so, and to be able to ask the right questions to get to the heart of any matter. Students also learn how to examine, evaluate, disassemble, and reassemble information and ideas in new and creative ways to develop a deep understanding of any subject.