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2016 The Bad Science Show - School Shows & School Incursions in Melbourne Sydney and Canberra.

Teacher's Resources

Thank you for taking the time to check out the teacher's resources for The Bad Science Show.

These resources and activities are designed for students to participate in after watching the show. They'll reinforce the messages of the show but they also contain spoilers.

Please remember that critical thinking is not a skill. Our goal as educators is not to teach critical thinking but to turn students into critical thinkers. 

Daniel Willingham, a cognitive scientist who specialises in education and critical thinking has written a fantastic paper on the subject.

1) Teach them the tools critical thinkers use.

Several of these tools are included in these resources.​ I also recommend Asking The Right Questions by Neil Browne and Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.

However, simply knowing the skills isn't enough. I know that I should exercise and eat less hot jam donuts. But I don't do it. 

2) Encourage the students to use the tools.

When an opportunity arises to apply one of these skills, use it. Even simple maxims like "consider both sides of story" and "think about your own biases" sink in over time.

The resources below include simple maxims to reinforce the message.

3) Apply the tools to multiple disciplines and domains.

Get critical thinking out of the science classroom. Ask them to apply it to history, drama, English, the canteen, the playground, television, movies and the internet. 

Students tend to think that if an idea looks like science, smells like science and sounds like science then they can ignore it once they leave the science classroom.

You'll have the greatest success if you apply to critical thinking skills to a subject the student already feels confident in. 

For more reading, I highly recommend the article I mentioned at the top.

And now...on with the resources.

Confirmation Bias (How To Bend A Spoon With The Power Of Your Mind)

Correlation / Causation (How To Find Water Under The Ground)

Paredolia  (How To See Ghosts)

XXX XXXXX (How To Read Minds)

The Placebo Effect (How To Cure Anyone Of Anything)

He's blowing on the page.

That's it.

However, the people who believe in him are exhibiting confirmation bias.

They have chosen to believe he can really do it and so are focusing on the evidence that proves him correct (the pages are moving) and ignoring the evidence that he's full of it (his mouth is moving too).

Can you think of an example of confirmation bias that you've committed?

 

Ever decided a movie will be terrible before you see it? And then have a terrible time? and so seen nothing but what's wrong with it?

Ever decided that you have a particular illness? And then start noticing the symptoms?

Ever heard a really cool conspiracy theory? And then decided it must be true before properly considering the evidence?

Then you might be a victim of confirmation bias.

So watch the video below and you'll be on your first step to becoming a master spoon bender.

However, if you really want your audiences to think you're the next magneto, get them believing in your abilities before you pull of the stunt, your reactions will be even bigger.

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