TEACHING REASONING: A COGNITIVE-CULTURAL APPROACH
Keywords:conceptualization, cognitive, reasoning, teaching, values
This paper describes personal reasoning peculiarities of Russian undergraduate students viewed through the prism of their culture and their psycho-typical characteristics. The experimental study showed specificity of argument formation in the students’ reasoning about their cultural values. Our experiment identified the respondents’ poles within the cognitive style ‘abstract / concrete conceptualization’ based on their verbalization of the primary values. Four levels of concept abstraction were detected and proved by the students’ verbal manifestations: the resulting students’ texts showed remarkable differences between the poles concerning preferences of argument exposition, both in its construction schemes and in the choice of components of the arguments. We thus state that the degree of variability of the students’ value assessment correlates with the degree of formation of the mechanism of differentiation in value orientations. Our recommendations for teaching reasoning concern: linguistically based principles of student cognitive differentiation which minimize distractive factors; choice of teaching tasks depending on the student specific conceptualization pole; and ways of activating differentiation and integration operations in reasoning. In a broader context of education, students’ individual peculiarities and cognitive preferences should be focused on training which stimulate the students’ learning interest.
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