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Young children learn reasoning as part of life. For example, a father asks his 7-year-old son to make his bed in the morning before he leaves for school. The boy asks, "Why?" The father responds, "Because I said so." The boy may make the bed, but he will also be thinking, "That's not a reason." Or, for example, a mother drives past one gas station to fill up at another. Her daughter asks why, already reasoning that the closer station is more convenient. Her mother gives her another reason, "Because the gas is cheaper here," and the girl learns that reasons can be prioritized.
Reasoning skills can be honed and developed in school, even for young children. A kindergarten teacher I work with wrote in her journal that she emphasizes "how" and "why" questions with her students. She models thinking out loud, saying things like, "I wonder why they …" or "I wonder how that could be—it doesn't seem right." She writes: "I like it when they [her kindergarten students] are explaining something to me and they stop dead and say, 'Hey, that isn't right.'"
What Is Sound Reasoning?