International Workshop on Teaching Logic Today

Time: October 7, 2011.
Venue: Meeting room 114, Wenke Lou (文科楼), Nankai University


Logic teaching has been always a hot issue over time. What logics are being taught nowadays? Which tools and methods are being used? With this event we would like to bringing together some key people from this area in China with some international experts to exchanging ideas, and explore future collaboration. The emphasis will be on concrete experiences, current projects, and 'best practices', rather than general philosophy of logic education. We also hope to forge new links between the Chinese community in this area and the international community.

Preliminary Program

Morning Session (Chair: Professor REN Xiaoming)

9:30-10:10    Logic Puzzles and Teaching Logic
                     Prof.Hans van Ditmarsch (University of Sevilla, Spain)
Abstract: I often present logic puzzles to audiences of students and, to be fair, to audiences of my peers, during seminars, as well. The logic puzzles I present are often puzzles of knowledge, and how ignorance, by merely making it public, can change into factual knowledge. This is as in the so-called muddy children problem, where from the children's announcement that they are IGNORANT about being muddy or not, some children may learn that they are muddy. Now, firstly, these puzzles seem to strongly motivate students because of their challenge to solve them during the presentation in class. Apart from that, they may also have a wider purpose of linking the subject of teaching logic to a cultural tradition, often centuries old, of such puzzles, and it seems such 'puzzles' often stand at the forefront of new developments in the area. So is it good or bad? I still do not know. But it surely is fun, and also for my students.

10:10-10:50    Logic Education in the Cognitive Science Context --on the practices in logic teaching in Zhejiang province
                      Prof.HUANG Huaxin and Dr. XU Cihua (Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China)

Abstract:Cognitive science, which aims to uncover the secrets of human mind, has achieved significant developments during the past fifty-odd years. Against this background, adjustments and changes have taken place in the research focus of logic and in the methods and techniques of teaching logic. More and more researchers began to reconsider questions concerning the goal and focus in logic education, what specific aspects should it cover and how to improve current teaching methods. We suggest that a strategic mode of thought is needed in logic education. Plans should be made according to the particular needs of the subjects and changes in the environment. For those majoring in logic, it is urgent to provide them interdisciplinary course between subjects such as linguistics, psychology, computer science, and artificial intelligence. With regard to the general public (including the lower grade students in colleges), their practical needs should be considered. Taking the rational thinking and problem solving in real life into account, in logic education, we should focus on language usage and symbol cognition, the fusion of formal logic and informal argumentation, and the combination of critical thinking and creative thinking. Based on these above understandings, the logic educational workers in Zhejiang province have made many helpful attempts in promoting interdisciplinary study, cultivating logic literacy of public and reforming logic education.

10:50-11:20    Break

11:20-12:00    Secondary Education Online - a case of Educational Program For Gifted Youth at Stanford University
                      Dr.Tomohiro Hoshi (Standford University, USA)

Abstract: Six years ago, Educational Program for Gifted Youth at Stanford launched an online program for students in 7-12 grades. The program has provided a unique interactive online environment for gifted students from all over the world, who seek further academic development that may not be possible due to various local constraints. With a rapid growth, the program extends its leading role in online education in the secondary level, as it is renewed as the center for precollegiate studies at Stanford. The talk will introduce the online high school program at Stanford and discuss how philosophy and logic are incorporated into its curriculum as one of the main academic subjects.

12:00-13:30    Lunch Break

Afternoon Session (Chair: Professor ZHAI Jincheng)

13:30-14:10    Logic Teaching for General Education at SYSU
                      Prof.XIONG Minghui (Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China)

Abstract: There are six levels of logic teaching program at Sun Yat-sen University(SYSU). The top level is the doctoral training, whose main task is to train high-level quasi-professor and researcher. The second one is graduate training, whose main purpose is the intermediate logic personnel who can teach the course such as Introduction to Logic and reserve personnel to provide doctoral students. The third one is undergraduate training, whose main goal is to train a group of primary quasi-graduates in the branches of logic, such as mathematical logic, logic in computer sciences, legal logic. The fourth one is undergraduate training in philosophy or in logic. In both programs, logic is one of the basic courses. What is slightly different is that the later need some professional courses in logic, such as mathematical logic, modal logic, logic of language, inductive logic, and informal logic and so on. The fifth one is legal professional teaching logic. Absolutely, logic has become one of elective basis in our law undergraduate, to fully enhance our quality of lawyers' logical thinking; finally, the school of general education courses, mainly for non-logic, non-philosophy and non-law undergraduates to open the school of undergraduate core curriculum courses. At SYSU, logic teaching program of general education covers three levels, namely, as a basic course of philosophy undergraduate and of logic undergraduate and as a general education course at whole University. The General Education curriculum Forum constituted by the four: First, the philosophy of logic and history of logic; Second, introduction to formal or deductive logic; third, introduction to inductive logic; fourth, introduction to in formal logic.

14:10-14:50    Logic in Action
                     Prof.Johan van Benthem (Amsterdam University, The Netherlands and Stanford University, USA)

Abstract: We will present the opensource project 'Logic in Action'which was sponsored by the Dutch Ministry of Education and Economic Affairs as a pilot for educational innovation. The course is based on two main ideas: (a) adapting the core curriculum of an introductory logic course to include information and action as key themes, (b) the use of a range of internet technology for fast free access, teacher support, and self-study. We will also talk about some experiences with the course at different sites where it has been tried out, including Amsterdam University College, and the ESSLLI Summer School in Ljubljana.

14:50-15:10   Break

15:10-15:50    Technology Assisted Logic Teaching in Nankai University
                     Prof.LI Na (Nankai University, Tianjin, China)

Abstract:As computer technology develops quickly in recent years, using new technologies to enhance teaching has been considered by instructors in all fields. In order to improve students' logic learning initiatives and their abilities to analyze and solve problems, we have established online learning resources of the course "Mathematical Logic". And at the same time, we use logic teaching software as a tool to assist our logic teaching. Based on our teaching practice, in this talk I will present our technology assisted logic teaching in Nankai University in the following five parts. Part one introduces all the online resources of the course "Mathematical Logic". Part two is the introduction to our Logical Reasoning Lab. Part three deals with the problems that the scientific research project "Educational Technological Research of Logic" intended to solve and its objectives. Part four analyzes the functions of the learning software in logic teaching, and part five discusses the major existing problems in our technological assisted logic teaching and our future vision.

15:50-16:10   Break

16:10-17:10   Round table discussion
Honorable participants so far:
Prof.R.Ramanujam (The Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai, India) ,
Dr. Davide Grossi(Liverpool University, UK),
Dr.Patrick Girard (Auckland University, New Zealand),
Dr.Fengkui Ju (Beijing Normal University, Beijing)
Dr.Fenrong Liu (Tsinghua University, Beijing),
Dr. Yanjing Wang(Peking University, Beijing).

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