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Waters, Anne. That Alchemical Bering Strait Theory: America’s Indigenous Nations and Informal Logic Courses
2004, In American Indian Thought: Philosophical Essays, ed. Waters, A., pp.72-83, Blackwell Publishing
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Added by: Franci Mangraviti

The chapter portrays how contextual examples are relevant to methods of teaching that empower understanding. Focusing on argument from Vine Deloria, jr’s Red Earth, White Lies, Native students inspire one another to learn critical thinking skills, as they discover ways to determine whether Deloria’s concerns with the logic of Western thought are shown to be justified. In the context of teaching about a particular critical thinking fallacy, students grasp the application of logical skills in their own meaningful
cultural context. The point driven home is that the meaningful and culturally relevant contextual content of examples used to teach critical thinking can excite and inspire Native students to learn. Thus philosophers can reinforce the acquisition of critical thinking skills for Native students by using meaningful, familiar content to reinforce understanding and praxis, for the recognition of cognitively false conclusions. This chapter implies an ethical maxim: using examples only from Western thought to teach critical thinking skills may prejudice students of other traditions in their acquisition of these skills.

Comment: A natural pick for a course on teaching philosophy, or that involves a discussion of epistemic injustice in philosophy education.

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