2024-2025 School Year

Critical Thinking GVL

Wednesdays ONLY

Offered Every other School Year (Scheduled for 2024-25)

Course Description

Critical thinking is purposeful and reflective judgment including identification of prejudice, bias, propaganda, self-deception, distortion, and misinformation, which is necessary in academic disciplines, professional fields, and the Christian life. Brain games and projects will be utilized to help guide students as they learn to think purposefully in response to observations, experiences, verbal/written expressions, and/or arguments.

The Fallacy Detective will help us recognize and identify fallacies and propaganda techniques used every day by advertisers, politicians, news journalists and others. Our end-of-semester practical application will be the creation of a scrapbook of current news headlines, cartoon quips, and illustrations.

The Thinking Toolbox covers how to analyze evidence and sources, using science, mysteries, and covering topics including: when it is unwise to argue, be a keen observer, who has reason to lie, how to list reasons why you believe what you believe, and more.

Second semester will conclude with a project of the student’s choice, using the “tools” covered in the book (examples and more options are listed in the final chapter).

Parents will be asked to both ensure students are prepared for class and to support students as they set aside time during the week to complete assignments/projects. Homework will include 3-5 lessons per week, approximately an hour, outside of class time.

To be successful in this class:

Students should come to class prepared and be able to complete weekly assignments. The student should also be able to follow directions, listen in class, participate in class activities, and apply skills covered in a variety of ways.

Grades: 7th Grade, 8th Grade

Fees: $180 per year

Sections Offered: 2nd Hour (Monday or Wednesday)

Required Materials


Other Materials:

  • pencils
  • notebook, if not writing in your book
  • 3×5 lined note cards

See syllabus in JE Materials for additional materials needed.

2nd Hour (Monday or Wednesday)

Meet Donna Ringenberg


  • Bachelor’s degree in music education from Bob Jones University (1976)
  • Graduate work at Converse College, Winthrop, Brandman, and Furman Universities

Teaching experience:

  • Private music lessons since 1977
  • Taught in multiple Christian school settings
  • Homeschool mom for over 30 years

Certifications: music education and elementary education

Courses taught at UHC:

    • MS Study Skills
    • MS Civics
    • MS Critical Thinking
    • MS Archeology
    • MS General Music
    • HS Music Appreciation
    • HS American Literature
    • Beginning Suzuki Violin
    • Chorus

Began teaching at UHC in 2005