Reasoning Aids Children’s Academic Development

Category: Education/Family


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. reasoning / ˈri zə nɪŋ, ˈriz nɪŋ / (n) – the process of thinking to come up with correct answers

    Asking my son’s opinion on simple things improved his reasoning.

  2. affirm / əˈfɜrm / (v) – to confirm that something is true

    The teacher affirmed that the student was doing well in class.

  3. surpass / sərˈpæs, -ˈpɑs / (v) – to be greater in amount or skill

    She surpassed her older brother’s academic record in school.

  4. lecture / ˈlɛk tʃər / (v) – to give a talk to a group of people

    The class was silent as the professor lectured them about the topic.

  5. introspective / ˌɪn trəˈspɛk tɪv / (adj) – examining one’s own thoughts and feelings

    Introspective children always ask interesting questions.


Read the text below.

A recent study showed that teaching children reasoning skills aids their academic growth.

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) observed the impact of teaching reasoning on 2,500 primary students in the United Kingdom. During the study, teachers used dialogic teaching, a method that encourages students to reason out and answer deep questions. Specifically, they used a dialogic program designed by Cambridge Primary Review Trust and the University of York.

Results of the study affirmed that dialogic teaching could be more effective than learning by memorization. According to the findings, those who learned reasoning skills surpassed other students in English and science subjects.

Dr. Kevan Collins, the EEF’s chief executive, said that dialogic teaching is an effective method, but it is difficult to use. Many teachers who participated in the program reported that they needed around two school terms to adjust to the dialogic method. However, Dr. Collins expressed hopes that the findings of the research can help more schools and teachers.

Like Dr. Collins, it appears that many teachers also recognize the effectiveness of dialogic teaching. School officials at Meadows Primary School, Australia, collaborated with dialogic teaching experts to create a learning program. Instead of lecturing students, the teachers taught expressions that their students can use to agree or disagree with others. The students were also asked to give feedback on their classmates’ ideas. When asked about the impact of this approach, the teachers commented that it taught their students to respect others’ opinions and to be more introspective.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• How else can students benefit from the dialogic teaching method?
• Would you like to learn using the dialogic teaching method? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• Is learning by memorization effective or ineffective? Why do you say so?
• How can teachers balance dialogic teaching and teaching through memorization?