Comparing Stages of Logic Development in Geography - Geography Essay Example

Comparing Stages of Logic Development in Geography

     According to Sternberg, there are three basic levels of human logic development: analytical, creative and practical (1985).  In the classroom, these different stages of comprehension and logic can be identified and monitored so that each student is properly assessed and so that the instructor might better tailor his or her lessons to suit the needs of the students.  Primarily it is the goal of the instructor to help each student go through each of the three logic development stages simultaneously and steadily so that they are able to cultivate a firm grasp of the subject matter.  In relevance to teaching the concept of earth’s origins in geography, the movement of the student through each of the logic development stages requires three different methods of instruction.


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     Geography students are required to have a basic understanding of the origins of the planet earth; this means that they must be able to identify that which is the earth itself and what it is made up of, think creatively so that they might be able to properly interpret scientific models that pertain to its origins and also to analyze the information that they do have available to make informed decisions concerning the subject matter.  Tilbury and Williams state that the best way to construct a solid learning environment that caters to all different types of students is to do two things: build “on pupil’s prior experience and knowledge”, and to avoid “any unnecessary difficulties or barriers” (1997, p. 59).

     The most important thing to remember when it comes to teaching students about the origins of the planet earth is that there can be very different teaching styles employed.  Perhaps the practical component of logic development is the most important in these classes, since it is upon these first practical lessons that students will base the next two stages of development.  Practical assignments might take place outside, where the students can gather actual geological specimens (rock samples) and think about the different places they have just come from in terms of the differences in specimens.  This will progress to the next teaching and logic development stage: analysis.  In developing their analytical skills, students must be able to actually observe their practical data and make assumptions and inferences about the significance of what they have already seen.  Kneale and Kneale write that the skill of deduction is the most important aspect of logic development (1985).  This is where lab work is prevalent.

     Finally, creative logic is formed on top of the prior two stages of development.  With planetary origins the concept presented to the class, this is a particularly important step in the logical process.  After practical data gathering and analysis are performed, students are able to see that science can only prove so much; therefore creativity is needed to fill in the blanks and actually imagine answers to questions that data analysis is unable to answer.  Each of the three logic development stages is therefore intrinsic to the study and teaching of geographic concepts.

Reference List

Kneale, M. and William Kneale (1984). The Development of Logic. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Sternberg, R. J. (1985). Beyond IQ: A Triarchic Theory of Intelligence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Tilbury, D., and Michael Williams (1997). Teaching and Learning Geography. London: Routledge.


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