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Topics for Critical Thinking

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Topics for Critical Thinking Project

Instructions:

1. Students gather in groups of four or five.

2. Each group writes an essay of about 1.000 words about the chosen topic. The essay must cite public opinions around the topic and include references.

3. At the end of the essay, there need to be Venn diagrams or truth tables to test the validity of the arguments that are cited or made in your essay.

4. In the oral presentation, the slides must display the arguments and the diagrams to test validity.

1. Sustainable development becomes a challenge because we have conflicting needs. We want fresh, clean air to breathe but we also want to buy cars We want to conserve forests but we need trees to build houses We want to swim in clean waters but we need factories. Factories usually use water from rivers to power machinery or to cool down machinery a. How do we balance conflicting needs? b. What are the important steps that have to be undertaken to achieve the goals of sustainable development? c. What arguments could you present to the country’s leaders? Use good arguments to present your point of view. Use additional tools such as Venn diagram, truth table, chart, graphs to support your arguments.

2. Alternative sources of energy such as wind, solar, hydropower and biomass can be harnessed to meet Vietnam’s rapidly increasing demand for energy. While there has been some early success, deployment of renewable energy has not reached the country’s potentials yet a. Why is this happening? b. Provide solutions to the problems using at least 2 forms of Argument. c. Use additional tools such as Venn diagram, Truth table, chart, graphs to support your arguments.

3. Viet Nam is considered as one of the most vulnerable countries due to climate change and sea level rise. If sea level rises to 1 meter, Viet Nam will lose about 12% of land, 23% of population will be affected. Typhoons will occur more frequently with higher intensity. Temperature increases and change in rainfall pattern will affect agriculture and water resources. a. What are the problems that Vietnam will face in the next 20 years? b. What are the solutions to the problems using at least 2 forms of Argument. c. What would you do in the future to prevent these kinds of problems from happening? Use at least 2 different forms of argument to support your views Use additional tools such as Venn diagram, truth table, charts, graphs to support your arguments.

4. Inspectors of the Provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment found that chemical substances had leaked from a plant belonging to the Lam Dong Bauxite-Alumina Complex in Bao Lam District. Rains washed the substances into the Tan Rai Alumina Plant's drainage facility before running into a large fish pond owned by some local residents. a. What are the problems? b. What are the solutions to the problems? c. What would you do in the future to prevent this kind of problem? Use deductive and inductive arguments to prove your point. Use additional tools such as Venn diagram, truth table, chart, graphs to support your arguments.

5. Small businesses have to be quantified to be effective. All innovations have to be quantified. Eventually everyone working on the business should think in terms of numbers. You’ll quantify everything. a. Do you agree? b. Why? c. Use deductive and inductive arguments to prove your point. Use additional tools such as Venn diagram, truth table, chart, graphs to support your arguments.

6. “It isn't really stealing to copy music off the internet. True artists want their music to reach as many people as possible. They are more concerned about the effect of their music on the world than on base concerns such as money. Most independent artists cannot find distributors. People who share music with their friends on the internet perform a useful service to music as they make more people aware of small artists and the diversity of music that is available.” a. What do you think about the idea? Does it affect to the music development in the world in general, and particularly in Vietnam? b. Are there any problems on intellectual property in music in VN? Given some examples to illustrate your ideas. c. What are your solutions to the problem in VN at the time being? Give solutions and arguments to convince that your proposal is realizable, using different forms of arguments. Use additional tools such as Venn diagram, Truth table, chart to support your arguments.

7. Mekong Delta water supply is going be unstable (going away or coming too much) and may cause troubles to countries as Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, … a. Up to you, what are the causes of this unstable situation? b. Does this really effect to VN? What are the results for VN? c. What are solutions to the problem? Use two different kinds of arguments to support your ideas. Use charts, graphs, or diagrams to support your argument.

8. Have you ever heard about “global warming”? “Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about 0.8 °C (1.4 °F) with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades. Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and scientists are more than 90% certain most of it is caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases produced by human activities such as deforestation and burning fossil fuels. These findings are recognized by the national science academies of all the major industrialized countries. a. Give a panorama (general view) on effects of this phenomena on earth. Details on the causes of such a phenomena. b. Does this phenomena effect to VN? If yes, what is/are the areas effected the most? Do you know if the VNese government has any projects to deal with such a problem? c. Your ideas on these project (are they enough?, some more effort are needed?, etc.). Your solution? In the processes of presentation, using different of kinds of arguments, charts, diagrams, … to support your ideas.

9. “Honesty” refers to a facet of moral character and denotes positive, virtuous attributes such as integrity, truthfulness, and straightforwardness along with the absence of lying, cheating, or theft. Additionally an honest person will inform others of opportunities for growth and self-actualization. Secrets allowing people to be harmed, self-deception - not being aware of one's own environment, and remaining silent when duty calls forth an opinion become silences which hurt others in the long-run. Honesty means being open about one's life.” (Wikipedia)

a. Is honesty useful in your life? Any cases where dishonesty are needed? Say anything you like to say on honesty. b. Look around you and tell us what do you think? c. Up to you, to teach a person to be honest we should start at what period of their life time? And by what means? Give a lesson on honesty (in 5 minutes, by a picture, a song, or by any means you like), OR answer the next question: d. Think of the situation that you are teachers at primary or secondary school and you have 10 minutes to teach them a lesson on honesty. What do you do? In the processes of presentation, use different of kinds of arguments, charts, diagrams, … to support your ideas.

10. Alternative energy. “Alternative energy is an umbrella term that refers to any source of usable energy intended to replace fuel sources without the undesired consequences of the replaced fuels. … In a general sense in contemporary society, alternative energy is that which is produced without the undesirable consequences of the burning of fossil fuels, such as high carbon dioxide emissions, which is considered to be the major contributing factor of global warming according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Sometimes, this less comprehensive meaning of "alternative energy" excludes nuclear energy (e.g. as defined in the Michigan Next Energy Authority Act of 2002)” (Wikipedia) (a) Why “alternative energy?” (b) What are the common types of alternative energy? (c) Up to you, what types of alternative energy are the promising ones for VN to develop now and in the future? If you are a powerful person of VN (such as, Prime Minister) what is your energy plan for VN in near future? In your presentation, use different of kinds of arguments, charts, diagrams, … to support your ideas.

11. “The North – South High-Speed Railway Project” was debated by diverted stakeholders. There are many different views on this issue. a. Do you agree to build this railway system, why? b. If you disagree, present your counter-argument. c. Use deductive and inductive arguments to prove your point. Use persuasive argument to present your point of view. Use additional tools such as Venn diagram, Truth table, chart to support your arguments.

12. Recently, there is an idea on proposing higher fees on personal vehicles. The fees on personal vehicles and cars that enter a downtown area during rush hour are aimed at limiting the use of personal vehicles, easing congestion, reducing traffic accidents and creating a financial source for traffic projects. a. Do you agree with the above idea, why? b. If you disagree, present your counter-argument. c. Use deductive and inductive arguments to prove your point Use persuasive argument to present your point of view. Use additional tools such as Venn diagram, Truth table, chart to support your arguments.

13. In recent years, Vietnamese exports to the U.S. and some European markets have dealt with anti-dumping cases, in which foreign producers claim that Vietnam’s central government subsidizes domestic industries to sell products at a much lower price on the international market. This causes a lot of problems for Vietnamese producers.

Question: In your opinion, is Vietnam a market economy (without any intervention from the government) or a non-market economy (with subsidies from the government)? Should Vietnam accept or challenge the anti-dumping duties imposed by the U.S or other European countries on its exports?

In your analysis, cite others’ arguments and make your own arguments to support your opinion, then use Venn diagrams, truth tables, etc, to test the validity of these arguments.

14. After its short boom, the real estate industry of Vietnam is now facing the bubble phenomenon, when real estate investors cannot sell their properties and have to wait for the government’s support to survive. There are different opinions about the government’s plan to inject 30,000 billion VND to “rescue” the frozen real estate market.

Question: In your opinion, should the government financially support the industry, or should it let this economic sector “fall freely”?

In your analysis, cite others’ arguments and make your own arguments to support your opinion, then use Venn diagrams, truth tables, etc, to test the validity of these arguments.

15. According to the UN Population Fund, sex ratios at birth are becoming increasingly imbalanced in Vietnam. For every 100 females, 110.6 males were born - compared to a norm of 105. The situation was particularly worrying because of the rapid increase in the proportion of boys being born in the last five years. The UNFPA warned that the imbalance could lead to a number of social problems in the coming years.

Question: In your opinion, what social problems might Vietnam face in a near future? What should the government do to improve this situation?

In your analysis, cite others’ arguments and make your own arguments to support your opinion, then use Venn diagrams, truth tables, etc, to test the validity of these arguments.

16. When asked about the books he likes reading, Do Nhat Nam, 11, called a “Vietnamese child prodigy”, said he likes politics, science and informatics books. Unlike most children, he does not read comic strips because his mother said comic strips are like the worms that demolish people's soul. Nam’s statement has received a great deal of criticism on the Internet. (VietnamNet)

Question: What are the attractions of comic strips to children and young people? Should parents forbid or censor the comic strips that are substantially available in most bookshops in Vietnam now? Why or why not?

In your analysis, cite others’ arguments and make your own arguments to support your opinion, then use Venn diagrams, truth tables, etc, to test the validity of these arguments.

17. Chinese goods have been flooding Vietnam as they have been dominating the world’s market. However, Vietnamese consumers now keep cautious when using Chinese products.

Question: Why can China become the world top exporter (legally and illegally) and how can Vietnam protect its people and domestic producers from the “invasion” of Chinese products?

In your analysis, cite others’ arguments and make your own arguments to support your opinion, then use Venn diagrams, truth tables, etc, to test the validity of these arguments.…...

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