Teaching and Learning How to Deal With Any of Life's Problems
Pete's thoughts on How and When Reasoning should be taught and learned
Last Revised: October 22, 2023
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Back to Reasoning
The "3R's" need to be revised to the 4R's;
in that order of priority. ---Because, if you learn to read, and then to reason, you have the basic tools necessary to get
any other skills you need.
I think we are missing the boat by not teaching Problem solving and Decision Making in the primary, secondary and
tertiary schools all over the country. I have spoken to several professional educators who tell me that:
"when we teach Math, the kids are getting trained in Reasoning" or that "Students aren't ready for it".
It appears to me that many educators don't even understand, at first, what I am talking about when I ask.
Reasoning to me, is a very different from solving story problems in math. "Math" is a "Numbers Engine" process.
You teach students how to convert certain types of situations into numbers and then how to solve the numbers problem.
Reading is the process for turning characters on a page into ideas that can be understood by the brain.
The "Reading Engine" that we learn to use takes characters on a page and converts them to ideas in the brain.
Writing is the process of turning ideas in the brain into characters on a page. The "Writing Engine" that we learn to
use takes ideas stored in our brains and converts them into characters that we or others use to understand our ideas.
So far, we are talking GENERALIZED processes that can be applied to any situation within their scope.
"Reasoning" training must also follow this concept: "Reasoning" is the process of analyzing whatever situation
befalls us and then designing and selecting the best alternative solution to it. The "Reasoning Engine" then, is the
process that enables us to take in and understand ANY situation, analyze it, and solve for it in the most expedient way.
So, you see,THE "Reasoning" process, should be taught as a separate process, transparent to any situation to which it
may be applied. In other words, don't simply teach kids to solve math "story problems" and think you've done the job of
Once taught, Reasoning can be continually integrated into any other training for real life situations.
You only need one universal "Idea Input Engine"(reading),
one universal "Idea Output Engine"(speaking and writing),
and one universal "Numbers Management Engine"(mathematics)
So why not teach, from first grade on, one "Universal Reasoning Engine", too?