Use A Little Logic

Logic is the answer to everything.

Okay, maybe not, but it is my favorite answer to “Why do I have to do this proof?” Trying to help high school geometry students see not only how to step through a proof but also how they’re building a skill they’ll use for the rest of their lives is something akin to spreading peanut butter directly on jelly. You can do it, but it quickly become a big mess.

For reasons I’ve never understood, logic skills tend to be taught exclusively in math or computer programming classes. If this is, then that has to be. If two things are the same as a third thing, they must be the same as each other. If this is true, is the reverse? Can you think of an example where this isn’t true?

Conditional statements, the transitive property, converses, and counterexamples. We see them every day in real life…but we don’t formally teach them until high school, when the student already understands the concepts because they’ve been utilizing them in English, history, science, and real life for years.

When we teach a child to look critically at their world, what we’re often doing is asking them to run what they’re seeing through a logic lens. When we ask them to make a connection, we’re asking them to apply logic. When someone says something and another responds, “That doesn’t make sense”, an argument of logic ensues. And it never remains solely in algorithmic settings.


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