Children need to develop reasoning skills in order to carry out problem solving in the real world, says Lindsey Richland, Associate Professor in the School of Education at the University of California, Irvine. But what are reasoning skills and why are they so important for children to learn? And what role can teachers play in helping develop them?
“When we are learning how to reason and how to use that information, teachers are able to use those resources in really important ways so [children] can be productive in lots of different kinds of long term career trajectories.”
We also hear from three amazing teachers who help students at different developmental stages and in different contexts, develop their reasoning skills and make interesting connections between concepts, ideas, practice and observation.
First we meet Monica who coordinates a Montessori Kindergarten in Brussels (Belgium):
“I believe that mainly in early childhood contexts you are teaching them to be independent, to be part of the society, so young children are learning how to eat by themselves, how to dress by themselves.”
Next we meet Anne-Li, a social science teacher from Sweden who teaches her secondary school students in a very special program – sailing around the world and visiting different harbours with them:
“The reasoning skills are really working because they put things together from facts and from visiting harbours… The thing here is when you are actually being a part of the people in a country you can take so much [more] wisdom with you that you can’t do when you just read about it or look at it on the Internet. Every assignment really comes to life with the people we meet.”
Finally we hear from Hasan who is instilling his love of maths and physics in his teenage students at the American School in Palestine:
“I’m trying to make maths more interesting by introducing some practical problems, something that they don’t know, and they have to use physics or maths to explain certain ideas or to solve certain problems.”