Comparison of three methodologies for promoting rational thinking in junior high school students



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The complexity of living in today's modern society has demanded that individuals think rationally and critically. Past studies have shown that individuals are best able to cope with the pressures of living in a technological world when they have reached intellectual and moral maturity. Because only a minority of individuals are currently able to reason at intellectual and moral maturity, this study was designed to determine and then test three separate methodologies for promoting reasoning skills in students: a) a logical reasoning methodology; b) a dialogue methodology and c) a combined logical reasoning and dialogue methodology. The theories of Lawrence Kohlberg (1971) and Matthew Lipman (1977) formed a theoretical foundation upon which the methodologies of interest were chosen. Kohlberg's stage developmental theory has stated that the moral development of individuals will be enhanced when people interact with one another through dialogue involving moral conflicts. Lipman has stated that the reasoning tool of logic may be used to provide Individuals with a systematic regimen for evaluating every day situations. [...]



Reasoning in children--Study and teaching, Thought and thinking--Study and teaching