Is This A Valid Argument?

This MEI activity develops students’ understanding of some logical fallacies, especially in relation to correlation and causation.

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Mathematical strand

Number and Measure

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Prior knowledge

Students will need a good understanding of correlation. You may wish to revise this topic before starting this activity.

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Relevance to Core Maths qualifications

  • AQA
  • C&G
  • Eduqas
  • Pearson / Edexcel
  • OCR

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Suggested approaches

The activity includes 10 questions, which are collated into the Student sheet provided at the end of the resource. All of these questions would benefit from discussion, and suggestions for teacher questioning are provided in the Teacher notes.

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Resources/Documentation

The resource consists of a single A4 document containing both Teacher notes and a student worksheet.

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Relevant digital technologies

Digital technologies are likely to be of limited use in this activity; the focus is on the ‘interpreting and making sense’ stage of the statistical problem-solving process. 

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Possible extensions

Students could use the internet to research further examples of logical fallacies in various settings. Some suggested links are provided in the Teacher notes.

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Acknowledgement

Developed by MEI, with funding from the Department for Education as part of the Critical Maths project to develop a post-16 mathematical thinking curriculum based on ideas from Professor Sir Timothy Gowers - http://www.mei.org.uk/critical-maths