A new course in logic by Roger Sutcliffe

rogerLogicWorks is an innovative course in logic using a carefully-planned sequence of PowerPoint presentations. Sutiable for pupils aged nine and upwards, it consists of 26 steps, labelled A-Z, that aim to help children and young people develop conceptual vocabularies and capacities to engage with everyday but ultimately complex arguments. A new letter will be added every week until the course is complete.

LogicWorks introduces moves and concepts systematically and engagingly, inviting paired or group discussion at every stage. Moves and concepts include:

  • the making of significant distinctions, for example between ‘if’ and ‘only if’, or between ‘sufficient’ and ‘necessary’
  • the making and relating of categories or sets
  • cause, effect, consequence, all, some, none, similarity, prediction, example, true, conclusion.

Each step, or letter, in the course consists of a small collection of PowerPoints that can be shown directly to pupils, and each collection on average might take up a whole lesson of about 30 minutes.

However, because of the invitations to discussion and invention that are built in, some packs might extend well beyond this time and, if they do, it should not be seen as wasted time. On the contrary, the sessions could be celebrated as regular ‘mental workouts’ and concept stretchers.

If, as is hoped, you and your pupils do build it regularly into the timetable (perhaps as starters to whole P4C sessions), you might plan to spread the course over a whole year – say, 32 weeks – with a few steps/letters extending into two weeks, or even over two years.

However it is timetabled, I hope that it will be fun, as well as educative, to follow. I am very open to suggestions for refinements or additions to the course.