Reasoning simply means a person’s ability to process and apply what they have learned in many contexts. We can only learn deeply when we set ourselves to reasoning tasks. Your child/student must simply just think with it. Quality learning requires reasoning to develop relationships with all the concepts our children are learning today.
Lets just say that answers to the next set of questions you are about to read are not yet given, then consider these as reasoning tasks you can try out with your child. Use the CER model (Claim-Evidence-Reasoning)…which I will briefly explain later.
For students with low attainment: (Kindergarten – late primary school)
- Which of these six knives will be best for slicing the apples, and why?
- How do we ensure that we don’t forget something when we are going to school or going shopping?
- What would be the question to an answer that says…….. ‘once a year’.
- Sam’s parents had five kids. Four of them are Bab, Beb, Bib, and Bob. What was the fifth kid’s name?
For students with high attainment: (secondary school)
- Why must x raised to the power of 2 always be positive?
- How could this business plan be improved?
- How important is gathering data to astronauts as they explore outer space for technology and invention?
- What do you think (among these) is one of the factors that led to President Buhari’s win in the last election? Why?
a, The Change Slogan
b, Corrupt election practices
c, Lack of confidence in the previous regime
You can always give your own varied options.
Take this scenario for example. If a child asks…”Is air matter?” You could lead them to reasoning by allowing them to claim what they know about matter first. Ok. Matter is anything that has mass or weight and takes up space. Then ask them to investigate (which is getting evidence). Maybe they could use examples of balls pumped with air e.g. a basketball or balloons. For a ball to bounce, air must be collected within it. For a balloon to float….etc
Then comes the final stage of reasoning. They could go this way…
“Air is matter (claim). We found that the weight of the ball increases each time we pumped more air into it (evidence). This shows that air has weight, one of the characteristics of matter (reasoning). Air takes up the space in the ball because when compressed, the ball flattens.”.
Great educators are achieving great heights using the C-E-R model. This is how it works.
According to the CER model, an explanation consists of:
- A claim that answers the question
- Evidence from students’ data
- Reasoning that involves a “rule” or scientific principle that describes why the evidence supports the claim
People… reasoning is what leads to true understanding….and understanding means ‘linked with previous learning’…not ‘able to reproduce’.
Your thoughts are always appreciated.