CHIASSON, Phyllis

(ABDUCTION) Abduction as an aspect of retroduction; (ABDUCTION) The role of optimism in abduction;(ABDUCTION) Peirce's logic of vagueness; (LOGIC) Logica utens; (CONTINUITY) Peirce and the continuum of means and ends; (EDUCATION) Peirce and Educational Philosophy

athena@olympus.net

Phyllis Chiasson began working with Peirce's concepts in 1974 as a language arts teacher in Tucson, Arizona. In 1976, she met Dorothy Davis, who had recently completed the construction of a theoretical model of aesthetic methods as learning styles. Davis' model is based upon Peirce's model of right reasoning and upon Dewey's premise that non-verbal aesthetic (valuation) methods are empirically verifiable. Between 1976 and 1980, she and Dr. Davis tested the reliability of her model by means of a non-verbal assessment. Davis constructed this assessment to predict the reasoning and performance capabilities of high school students with limited English and/or reading skills. Using the information from this assessment and appropriate teaching methods adapted from Peirce's semiotic, Phyllis was able to dramatically increase the learning and performance capabilities of 'reluctant learners'. In 1980, Chiasson left the public educational system and, with Davis, founded Educational Consultations in Tucson, AZ. This agency worked with parents, foster parents, social workers, and counselors of troubled school-aged children and adolescents. They provided information and suggestions to assist professionals in building more appropriate learning situations. These suggestions were tailored to individual students based on that student's non-verbal reasoning method. During this time, Chiasson gave many workshops and published three articles for scholarly journals: Educational Leadership, Journal of Learning Disabilities, Proceedings of the 1983 Systems Sciences Convention. In 1983, family circumstances required Chiasson to relocate to the Seattle, WA area where, after a brief stint as a corporate writer, she worked as a consultant to businesses and continued her independent research into Davis' model and its connections to Peirce and Dewey. In 1987, Chiasson successfully completed the design and implementation of a computer analysis program which allows trained observers to administer the Davis Non-verbal Assessment. This program, which has been in use since 1987, consistently produces accurate predictions concerning an individual's habitual non-verbal reasoning pattern: i.e. inductive, deductive, abductive. (A reasoning pattern is made up of the way in which an individual habitually (1) formulates qualities, (2) sets goals and priorities, and (3) produces outcomes. A particular individual may use the same reasoning method for all three of these activities, or a different method for each.) In 1996, Phyllis and her husband, Hal Leskinen, moved to Port Townsend, WA, where Phyllis is affiliated with Peninsula College. Her first contact with other Peirce and Dewey scholars came through Internet discussion groups. Her book, Peirce's Pragmatism: A Dialogue for Educators, has been accepted for publication as the first volume in the Studies in Pragmatism and Values Series. SPV is a sub-series of the Value Inquiry Book Series of Editions Rodopi. Although she still occasionally teaches college classes and provides workshops for interested groups, Phyllis currently considers writing about Peirce and Dewey-related topics her full-time occupation.