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NC.EDU.103 - Critical Thinking Strategies - Chris Blakey

Course:Critical Thinking Strategies
Professor:Chris Blakey
  • OnlineLive
Course Length:
  • 5 Week


Greetings, all.  My name is Chris Blakey and I will be leading the Non-Credit course Critical Thinking Strategies (NC.EDUC.103) this spring semester.  I am a member of the Philosophy Department at College of the Canyons.  This will be a 9-hour course and will meet on Friday mornings, beginning on Friday, Feb. 25, at 9:00 a.m. on Zoom.  The initial meeting on Feb. 25 will run from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m., and the next four meetings will run from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.  There will be a total of five meetings.

Anyone interested in the topic is welcome, and the course is open to all community members, but will be framed primarily for educators looking to gain new insights in this important area, and to integrate critical thinking principles into their classrooms.

Course Description

The course will be designed to help us understand some of the problems and challenges associated with teaching critical thinking in our society today, so that we might be better prepared to help ourselves and those we interact with to make positive progress in this important area.  To spur our thought and discussion in this area we will be using a short book, Demagoguery and Democracy, by Patricia Roberts-Miller.  This text is less than $10 in cost.  This book describes and illuminates facets of the present situation in our society with regard to thinking critically and well.  Here is the information about the book to facilitate your obtaining it before the course begins.

Demagoguery and Democracy, by Patricia Roberts-Miller, The Experiment Publishing, (ISBN: 9781615194087)   

Part of the course will also be devoted to discussing some of the “nuts and bolts” of reasoning, including the concept of what an argument is, and some basic principles related to the evaluation of arguments.  Additionally, we will discuss and practice identifying common logical fallacies.  Another topic that I am planning on discussing  to some extent is that of “fake news” and how to deal with the erosion of the concept of truth.  It is a tricky thing to determine where we can obtain reasonably accurate information, so this is a central concern regarding critical thinking today.

What to Expect in this Course

Requirements for the course will include attendance, a little reading, in class discussion, and some discussion forum participation.  We will utilize Canvas for communication, discussion forums, etc.  The last meeting will include an opportunity to present your thoughts on how to apply some of this material in the classroom (for those who are teachers).

Textbook Information

Demagoguery and Democracy, by Patricia Roberts-Miller, The Experiment Publishing, (ISBN: 9781615194087)   

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

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Last updated: 02/05/2022 Sub#: 1289