Reality-Based Thinking

Our first RBT class (2018) finishing up the semester’s work before the
big semester-ending chorus and band concert.

Be sure to see the student testimonials in the yellow box at the bottom of this page.

This class, for ages 12-18, promotes honesty, rationality, and responsibility as a sustainable way of life. It’s primary theme is that, since we live in a real world, reality makes the best basis for our thinking. (The main principles behind the course are covered in Jack Pelham’s 3-part introduction to his video podcast at YouTube:

It is an academic course, and students are expected to take notes. There will be quizzes and multiple exercises. Much of the course is aimed at how to avoid thinking errors, which are caused by one or more of the following:

  1. Not thinking. (Assuming, going by hearsay, acting by habit, etc.)
  2. Not knowing how to think through a particular type of problem or scenario. (This is a reference to “mindware”, such as logic, probability, math, language, etc.)
  3. Having corrupted “mindware” in place–such as with cognitive biases, or erroneous logical principles, etc.

We will spend considerable time on the “mindware” section, particularly with logic and probability. And we’ll also make an extensive examination of common cognitive biases so that the student can readily spot biases in play.

The course will require one or two essays per semester, to be assigned in class. The goal of these is to be sure that the student is giving sustained consideration to the subject matter, such that he or she can narrate it back to the teacher in written form.


Click here to register ASAP as space is limited.

A Code of Conduct agreement is required for this course. This helps to ensure the positive environment in each class. This document is being updated and will be published this summer.

Tuesdays, 8:05 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.
First Semester runs September 15 through our December 15 concert.
Second Semester runs January 12 through through April 27.

This course has no performances.

Students will need notebooks and folders. Various handouts will be provided.

24 students

This course meets, as do all our courses, in the We, Montana! Great Room.

Jack Pelham

This course is part of our Homeschool Program. You’ll find our fee structure detailed here.

Here are a few one-liners from students who have taken this course. These are taken from lengthier discourses, and in some cases, edited slightly for clarity.

“Since I started this class, I’ve noticed more errors in the ways other people talk and think as well as myself. I’ve also seen things are are not quite right said on the news/radio.”

“One thing I learned about myself is that I use absolutes more than I realized. I also jump to conclusions too fast.”

“Personally, I found this class extremely enjoyable and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested.”

“I quite enjoyed the class. Discussion is good.”

“I learned that I am very much (perhaps troublingly so) a procrastinator.”

“It made me think. I’ve started noticing both myself and others making mistakes. From not thinking a thing through before saying it, to making a biased judgment. More and more I stop and think, “Hold on–was whatever I just said or thought correct?”

“I learned I tend not to think a thing through before saying or doing it. Also, I see that I frequently run the halo effect and devil effect biases. I’m not trying to stop.”

“I would like a longer class time. We get into a great discussion then suddenly, class was over.”