Child : “ Mom, I don’t want to eat this, it has red gravy”
Mom : “Why does that matter?”
Child : “ That means it is spicy like tacos!”
Inductive reasoning is a method of reasoning in which a number of observations is considered to come to a conclusion. It is the process of using past experiences or knowledge to draw conclusions. For example, your child may observe that she eats mangoes during her summer holidays, she may deduct that she will probably get mangoes this summer too.
Inductive logic helps children in making predictions and creating generalizations. Their conclusion may not always be true, but it should be reasonable based on the evidence. Inductive reasoning helps kids think ahead and make decisions. In day-to-day life, inductive reasoning often seems invisible. Children unknowingly take in information, recognize a potential pattern, and act on their hypothesis. Inductive reasoning or logic may begin at an early age when your child observes the dog barking in a particular way each time a cat is in the backyard. The next time she hears the dog barking in the same way, she will deduct there is a cat in the backyard.
Inductive logic is important as this helps children in the long run. Children with a strong inductive reasoning quickly notice patterns. They can see how certain objects or events, lining up in a certain way can bring about a common outcome. Children who can recognize these patterns and made deductions, can also use it as they grow into rewarding careers.
Also learn about: The Correct Age For Logical Thinking
Here are a few simple ways to facilitate inductive reasoning for your child:
Simulation & Play
Encourage children to look at various pictures of real-life things and draw a general conclusion based on the observations they make. You can show pictures of a particular sport for example tennis and then show pictures of the sports player like Serena Williams on the court. See if they can make simple connections like Serena Williams is a tennis player.
Encourage children to ask questions
It is important to remove the fear of inquiry from the minds of young children. Children should be encouraged to actively ask questions, dig deep and push into explore complex topics.
Try to recognize patterns
Pattern recognition skills help to improve children’s logical reasoning skills. Pattern recognition strengthens their mental, spatial abilities and IQ. Children can hone these skills by solving puzzles or practicing logical questions like looking at a sequence of numbers and guessing which number will come next.
Help children make logical conclusions
As an adult it may sound obvious, but it may take some practice for children to think in conditional statements and find causes and consequences of small and even insignificant facts. For example: every time your kid plays basketball, she feels hungry. Or each time it snows, it is cold outside.
You can generate a range of possible solutions to an issue or problem and then eliminate the issues one by one to find the exact problem and thereby its solution. For example, if your laptop does not turn on, ask your child to think of various reasons to this problem. You may not have charged the laptop, or the battery may not be inserted properly or it may be completely broken. Try finding solutions to each of these problems together.
We actually learn inductive reasoning much earlier than we learn deductive reasoning. Jean Piaget, famed psychologist in the world of child development, theorized that children start developing inductive reasoning around the age of 6-7 years till about 11-12 years. At this stage we should facilitate inductive reasoning by helping children work on puzzles or simulations to detect similarities, differences, classification, simple analogies, series completion etc. This will not only help children build a strong world view, but also boost their brain power!
“Inductive inference is the only thing known to us by which essentially new knowledge comes into the world”
– Sir Ronald Fisher