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Logical Reasoning in Young Children

The thinking process of the child is individual in its manifestations. Some kids can understand everything from the first time, while others need to repeat the same thing many times before they remember. Logical reasoning of children depends on quick thinking, skills to solve problems in various fields, to argue logically, and to examine and analyze the new knowledge. Scientists say that such qualities and inclinations are transferred genetically. They believe that heredity affects 70% of child’s abilities. These facts do not mean that it is not necessary to develop the child’s thinking. After all, there are still 30% that are available to the kid and his parents.

The bases of logical thinking in young children are practical actions. At this age there is a rapid expansion of the scope of mental problems (tasks) and increase of child’s independence of thinking. Psychological studies of logical reasoning in young children (preschoolers) show the change of the role of mental action in relation to the practical.

Children of 3-4 years old can use actions that are not adequate to the task. They immediately begin to take actions to address the problem using the method of indiscriminate trials and errors. Younger preschooler usually does not analyze the conditions of the problem. Therefore the child can not critically assess the results. Logical reasoning starts to work only after attempts to solve the problem using practical actions.

In children of 5-6 years old, logical reasoning starts to work with understanding the problem and finding ways to solve it. The children of this age group use speech as the basis for logical reasoning. They start with arguing and then take actions to solve intellectual problems. Thus, the preschooler’s thinking evolves gradually from the action to the pronunciation and logical reasoning (Goel, 2010).

Every parent wants to make the school life of his child easier. To help the young genius, moms and dads should teach kid to use the reserves of his memory. Nature gave man a great gift – the ability to memorize.

Logical reasoning develops 4 types of memory:

  1. Motor memory or the memory of movements.
  2. Verbal-logical memory, which helps to consolidate and assimilate the information they have heard.
  3. Visual-shaped memory, which helps the memorization of forms, faces, colors and visual images.
  4. Emotional memory, which helps to capture the feelings or events related to them (Markovits, 1996).

To develop logical reasoning of a child, as well as to achieve better result in learning new material, the child must be able to use all of these types of memory at the same time. A child tries to learn what’s what, why and for what. He finds out a range of communication patterns, causes and consequences. He learns to reason and draw conclusions. The earlier parents start to develop logical reasoning of the child, improving mental operations, the higher will be his level of cognitive activity, interest in intellectual problems. Logical reasoning of a child includes several mental operations:

  • Comparison. It is the most simple and straightforward operation. Parents should teach child to compare items, to find similarities and differences. They can do it for example, in dresses of dolls, in the shape of objects, in the colors of the surrounding world.
  • Analysis. This operation consists of allocation parts of one thing. For example, parents can ask a child about: what the object consists of; what is drawn on the picture; what dress is on the doll…
  • Synthesis. This operation is the opposite of analysis. It is used to combine the parts into a whole. This operation of synthesis is the key idea of all puzzles.
  • Establishing cause-effect relationships. A child learns to relate cause and effect. For this operation, parents can use the monitoring of an outside world, actions of people and reading the stories and tales with the plot.

The operation of generalization is the hardest logical operation for young children. Children feel difficulties in making conclusions. Logical operations make the foundation of good thinking. If to develop the child’s ability to think, he will understand everything very quickly and learning process will be taken easily and naturally.

It is worthy to say that verbal and logical reasoning play a very important role in the child’s development. Around the age of 6-7 years two new types of reasoning – verbal-logical and abstract begin to form in a child. His success in school depends on the level of development of these types of reasoning (Donaldson, 2003).

Insufficient development of verbal-logical reasoning leads to difficulties in committing any of the logical actions (analysis, synthesis, separation of the main things making conclusions) and operations with words. Exercises for development of this type of reasoning aim at forming a child’s ability to organize words in some sense, the ability to distinguish genera and aspectual concepts, the development of verbal inductive reasoning, synthesis and the capacity for abstraction. It should be noted that the higher level of synthesis, the better the child’s capacity for abstraction is.

Here a description of logical problems is given as well-this is a special section on development of verbal-logical reasoning, which includes a number of different exercises. Logical problem involves the reasoning process associated with the use of concepts, logical structures that exist on the basis of linguistic resources.
In the course of such reasoning a switch from one to the other assessment, their relationship through the mediation of the contents of some assessment by other’s content takes place and hence inference formulates. As it was noted by the psychologist, S.L. Rubinstein, “in conclusion… knowledge is produced indirectly through the knowledge without any borrowings in each case from direct experience” (Markovits, 1996).

Developing verbal and logical reasoning through solving logic problems, it’s necessary to select tasks which would require inductive (from the unit to the general), deductive (from general to the unit) and traduktive (from unit to unit or from general to general, when the premise and conclusion are the assessment of the same similarity) inferences.

Traductive inference can be used as the first stage to learn solving the logic puzzles. This is a problem in which the absence or presence of one of two possible signs of one of the two objects under discussion helps to make the conclusion, accordingly, about the presence or absence of this feature of another object. For example, “Stella’s little dog is small and fluffy; Rachel’s is a big and fluffy one. What’s in the same in them? What is different?”

If the child has insufficient development of abstract logical reasoning he has poor idea of abstractions that cannot be perceived by the senses (for instance, the equation, square, etc.). Operation of this type of reasoning is based on the concept. Concepts reflect the essence of the objects and can be expressed in words or other signs. Usually this type of reasoning is just about to develop in the primary school age, but tasks requiring solutions in an abstract-logical sphere has already included in the school curriculum. This defines the difficulties that children experience in the process of learning school material. Here the proposed exercises do not just develop abstract logical reasoning, but their content meets the basic characteristics of this type of reasoning (Dias, 1990).

These tasks include the way to form the ability to provide essential properties (attributes) of specific objects and abstraction from the secondary qualities, the ability to separate the notion form from its content and establish relations between concepts (logical association), the formation ability of operating sense.
There are several ways to develop logic in children: through sentences, math games, through their creativity, and others (Piaget, 2002).

Development of logic through the sentences

This exercise is suitable for children under three years. Adults in a relaxed form start sentence and offer a child to finish it. It’s better to use this way while walking with an aim that the phrase suggested to a child was somehow connected with the surrounding reality. This kind of intelligence test will help to develop logic, observation and associative reasoning in children.

Development of logic through math games

It’s necessary to make the task more complicated for children over three years. Mathematics and logic are closely interconnected; therefore, it’s possible to use the game with a mathematical bias to develop the logic. Special cards with images of birds, animals, objects can be offered for children to arrange them in ascending or descending order – depending on the number of characters or objects on each.

Development of logic through creativity

Logical reasoning in children is formed during the reading, arithmetic lessons. Creativity also contributes to the development of logic, causing the brain works and finding the right solution. For these purposes puzzles, mosaic, coloring books, applications, modeling shapes from clay, painting and much more are perfect to use. Collecting puzzle or mosaic with enthusiasm the child trains his memory, solves puzzles, ranking in his head logical conclusion: a fragment of white to white, green – the green, etc (Counihan, 2008).

A variety of activities for the development of logic

It happens so that a child can be quickly bored with one game or a puzzle, and he loses interest in it. Parents need to take care of it in advance, acquiring new entertaining games and educational toys for children from time to time. Then the kid will be happy to develop logic being busy with new hobbies what will help him in school-age to learn things better, think and act consistently.

It is necessary to begin developing logical reasoning in the child from an early age. This will help him continue to express themselves competently and argue his position convincingly. It`s necessary to remember that the abilities that every person possesses are given by nature with a birth. If parents develop them properly, then the children will have different abilities. But there it’s also important not to be too late with the formation of the base of this future gift. Parents and teachers’ education greatly influences the development or destruction of children’s abilities. A talent can be in any child! Children are able to accept easily new things and soak up any information like sponges. The human brain does not develop only with age, but when you are working in an active way. Parents, developing logical reasoning or other important qualities in their child, must remember the most important thing. The main mission of all parents in the world is to disclose the identity of their child, so he has been implemented and happy in this world!

 

References:

Counihan, M. (2008). ‘ if p then q ’ . . . and all that: Logical Elements in Reasoning and Discourse. Journal of Logic, Language and Information, 17(4), 391-415.
Dias, M. G. & Harris, P. L. (1990). The influence of the imagination on reasoning by young children. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 8(4), 305-318.
Donaldson, M. (2003). A Study of Children’s Thinking. p. 177.
Goel, V. &Vartanian, O. (2010). Negative emotions can attenuate the influence of beliefs on logical reasoning. Cognition & Emotion, 25(1), 121 – 131.
Markovits, H., Venet, M., Janveau-Brennan, G. & Malfait, N. (1996). Reasoning in Young Children: Fantasy and Information Retrieval. Child Development, 67(6), 2857–2872.
Piaget, J. (2002). Judgement and Reasoning in the Child. p. 2.

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