(Posted earlier, did not appear. Now reposted, after modification). Robert Hansen (RH) posted Jul 4, 2013 5:09 AM: > > On Jul 3, 2013, at 2:21 PM, Joe Niederberger > <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > > > I think you could teach modus ponens to a sixth > grader though, and it *may* help > > Forget a sixth grader, how exactly do you teach modus > ponens to anyone? Again, to my analogy, how do you > teach someone what a rose smells like? > IMHO, *teaching* anyone anything is mainly a matter of getting him//her interested in what you (the 'teacher') are interested in 'teaching' - and then providing examples, discussing general rules, if any, etc, etc. In general, whatever is sought to be taught should be 'age-appropriate'. The *teacher* does need to remember that *teaching* does not 'stand alone', but is ALWAYS part of the dyad of 'teaching + learning'. (This seems to be self-evident - but it is remarkable how many 'teachers' forget it and treat *teaching* as the whole thing). . A: E.g.: 'Teaching' modus ponens (to a sixth-grader; or to anyone else): The *teacher* has first of all to convince him-/herself that the dyad of 'teaching + learning' is fundamental, not *teaching* alone. He/she may then convince him-/herself that what is actually needed is mainly to convince the student that "Hey, this stuff IS interesting!". (It is believed that, in general, kids younger than sixth-graders may not be much interested in modus ponens, etc (though they may well find interest in sniffing the roses).
After *teacher* has *captured the student's interest*, the student will more or less teach him-/herself (and will thereby 'learn' what modus ponens might be). The teacher's job is then mainly to:
i) Suggest plenty of examples, instances, etc, from situations that may interest the student;
ii) Try and help the student resolve the doubts he/she may express (/not express).
That's it. The student will surely learn by 'teaching' him-/herself just what modus ponens is - as well as modus tollens. In fact, I'd suggest that plenty of modus tollens will automatically appear while examples/instances are generated of modus ponens.
B: Likewise for 'teaching' someone how to smell a rose.
Provide rose, near nose (or other smell-sense organ) of learner. Say, "This is a rose". Student will get the whiff of the rose's perfume - and will then 'teach' him-/herself just how to go about smelling it, what the smell 'feels' like, etc, etc, etc. I suggest that - for completeness of 'lesson' - other flowers may also be provided (in similar fashion). Perhaps a rotten egg also, for completeness of 'lesson'.
C: In general, as may be gauged from 'A' and 'B' above, I believe that 'common sense' will help a lot, in this and in most other situations.