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Saturday, June 21 • 9:30am - 10:30am
Using Sufi Tales to Cultivate Critical Thinking in Children

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Jurgis and Nora Brakas have been working to help elementary school teachers use picture storybooks to develop their students’ critical thinking skills, arguably the most important skill students can learn. This session will discuss how critical thinking can be taught through delightful Sufi tales written for Western children, tales in which the thinking of the characters has gone or does go awry. Each story raises its own perplexing question: Why would an old woman insist an eagle is a pigeon? How could five men—in the same situation and confronted with the same object—arrive at five widely different and incorrect identifications of that object? How does a chicken frighten a group of townspeople to the point where they want to escape from the earth? Why would villagers be terrified by a fruit? These are all questions that involve critical-thinking issues. These two sessions will summarize some of the stories; systematically apply a logical and analytical framework to each story; and discuss the significance of each story, indicating in what way the thinking of the characters has gone awry and what principle of thinking would have prevented it. The sessions will also raise a few open-ended questions to illustrate how the principles of thinking in each story can be applied to the personal lives of the children.

avatar for Jurgis Brakas

Jurgis Brakas

Marist College, Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus
Jurgis Brakas received his PhD in philosophy from Columbia University and his AB in philosophy from Princeton University. He began teaching at Marist College in 1990; in the fall of 2013, he retired to pursue research and writing full time.
avatar for Nora K. Jachym Brakas

Nora K. Jachym Brakas

Assistant Professor of Teacher Education, Marist College
Nora K. Jachym Brakas is Assistant Professor of Teacher Education at Marist College. She received her Certificate of Advanced Study and her PhD and MS degrees from the University at Albany.

Saturday June 21, 2014 9:30am - 10:30am
Loft South Manchester Country Club

Attendees (2)