Formal Logic: The Discovery of Deduction

Term: Yearlong 2018-19, September 4–May 24
Target Grade Levels: Grades 8–10; 11th–12th graders welcome (see placement details below)
Schedule: 2x / week, 60–75 min.


Course Sections (Choose One)
Section 1: 
T/Th 2 p.m. EST with Mrs. Hodge
Section 2: M/W 11 a.m. EST with Mr. Ryan Klein

Please note: The first section of this course is now full. A second section of the course has been made available—details above. If you’d like to be added to the waiting list for Section 1, please contact us with your request, including your name, phone number, and email address, as well as the following student information: name, grade (2018-19 school year), and age on Sept. 1, 2018.

The study of formal logic is an essential foundation for every student—it permeates every discipline and subject of study. This is an ideal course for junior high and high school students who are now poised to acquire and verify truths on their own. Students use The Discovery of Deduction, a clear, incremental text that shows students how deductive logic is applied in various disciplines and in everyday life (from the adventures of Sherlock Holmes to scientific and ethical arguments). Students study the art of correct reasoning residing in the principles of formal, or deductive, logic. This course takes students through a study of the syllogism, which embodies deductive reasoning taking the form of a major premise, minor premise, and conclusion. Students also study the traditional “square of opposition,” a teaching tool that shows various logical relations contained in various kinds of deductive arguments. Logic will be esteemed by students as they come to understand how reason works, and they will enjoy thinking about thinking!

For a closer look at the main text used in this course, please follow this link and click “Look Inside”: The Discovery of Deduction.

Placement: Students must complete an introductory course in informal logic prior to this course. Scholé Academy’s Informal Logic course or the completion of the The Art of Argument text provides sufficient experience for this purpose. It is also recommended that students successfully complete Pre-Algebra prior to taking this course.
When considering whether this course is a good fit for your student, please consider that in addition to readiness for the course content, students should be developmentally prepared to engage in an 8th- to 10th-grade corporate learning environment as well as the online classroom dynamic. Please see the course syllabus (below) for a detailed description of student expectations for this course.

High School Credit: This course is the equivalent of one high school credit in logic or mathematics.

Course Syllabus: Formal Logic Syllabus 2018-19.  

“The materials are amazing. This class has been the highlight of my daughter’s high school year.” —Christine McVeary, Formal Logic Parent

DD Image*Required Texts:
The Discovery of Deduction: An Introduction to Formal Logic
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate 
by Jacqueline Kelly (2011)


*Required texts are not included in the purchase of the course.


Joelle Hodge, Principal, holds a BA in history/political science from Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania. She began her career as a staffer to United States Senator Arlen Specter (R-Pa) before finding her professional home in the world of classical education in 1999. She has more than eighteen years of teaching experience—many of which were spent at a classical school in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. There she also developed much of their logic and rhetoric curricula. She has coauthored two logic books, The Art of Argument: An Introduction to the Informal Fallacies and The Discovery of Deduction: An Introduction to Formal Logic, both published by Classical Academic Press. Currently, Classical Academic Press hosts Joelle’s consultant offerings, where she engages with educators across the country, tailoring workshops for classical schools and co-ops that seek to train their teachers in the fundamentals of dialectic, and rhetoric-stage pedagogy. Since the inception of Scholé Academy, Mrs. Hodge has taught courses across a variety of disciplines, including math, logic, and rhetoric, as well as a course in student-skills development (How To Be a Student). She also served as senior teacher for Scholé Academy before stepping into the role of academy principal in 2018.


Ryan Klein began to love learning when he encountered the Great Books of the Western Tradition in college. After a few years exploring Homer, Plato,Augustine, Aquinas, Austen, and Wittgenstein, he realized he’d found a conversation he wanted to spend the rest of his life discovering. He’s since received a B.A. in Philosophy from the Templeton Honors College of Eastern University, and he’s studied for a time at Oxford University. He’s recently returned to Templeton to work on his Masters of Teaching in Classical Education, which he’s loving so far. Ryan believes everyone can benefit from studying the Western Tradition, including students who have not fit into the structures of conventional public education. He loves to work through big ideas with students both one-on-one and in small groups, and he is passionate about classical education – especially the practice of seminar. He is deeply interested in philosophy, theology, logic, writing, and literature. When not in school, he likes to read, cook, explore the Pacific Northwest, build computers, and befriend cats. (He likes dogs too, but cats are his true specialty.) 

Red checkmarkComputer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with processor with a speed of 1 Ghz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with MacOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do NOT recommending using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.


Red checkmarkHigh-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with an download/upload speed of 5/1Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.

Red checkmarkWebCam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer.
WebCam Recommendations: Good (PC only) | Best (Mac and PC)

Red checkmarkHeadset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class.
Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm

Red checkmarkZoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use.
To download Zoom:

  1. Visit
  2. Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
  3. Open and run the installer on your computer.
  4. In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.

Please note: Formal Logic is now full. If you’d like to be added to the waiting list for this course, please contact us with your request, including your name, phone number, and email address, as well as the following student information: name, grade (2017-18 school year), and date of birth.

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