Jan 18, 2012

FVCC Offers Opportunity for Teacher Renewal Credits Through Critical Thinking Course

The Flathead Valley Community College Continuing Education Center is offering a “Why We Know What Isn’t So” course focused on critical thinking this semester.

Instructed by Dr. John Winnie, the course will introduce students to some practical applications of recent work on the psychology and sociology of forming incorrect beliefs.  Some of the classic experiments in these areas will be demonstrated in class.  Throughout the course, multimedia presentations and hands-on demonstrations will be used to explore such topics as psychic surgery, pendulum swinging, the “hot hand” in basketball, water-witching (dowsing), and some popular superstitions.  More serious topics will include the fundamentals of evidence-based medicine, the power of placebos, evaluating alternative medicine, and science vs. pseudo-science.

Dr. Winnie is a former Professor of Philosophy of Science and Cognitive Science at Indiana University.

“We are surrounded by misinformation these days and we often don’t know how to recognize it when we see it,” says Dr. Winnie. “The basic idea of evidence-based (or critical) thinking and behaving is learning what counts as evidence, how to get at the facts of a matter, and how to make reasoned decisions based on the best knowledge available.”

The one credit course is approved for 18 Teacher Renewal Credits for Flathead County middle and high school teachers.

The course will meet from January 27 to March 24 on Wednesdays from 7 to 9 p.m.  The cost to enroll is $99 and includes course handouts.  To register, visit or call the FVCC Continuing Education Center at 756-3832.  For more course information, contact John Winnie at 755-1406 or at