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Abstract thinking is a capacity that only humans possess. It consists of the disposition that people have to create new ideas or raise situations that help us know how to handle ourselves before possible situations.
It is true that not all people can develop this type of thinking. In some individuals it occurs innately, while others require training and perseverance to acquire it. On our site we explain how to encourage abstract thinking in children.
According to Piaget, abstract thinking is acquired at the stage of formal operations, that is, at the stage where you can think and organize ideas in your mind without depending on the manipulation of an object. The child's entry into this stage is usually around 11 years old. Abstract thinking will progressively develop until it reaches its consolidation around the age of 15.
Thus, in the stage of formal operations and thanks to the abstract thinking that it acquires, the child will learn to solve what happens around him, evaluating the possible consequences of each action he takes.
Abstract thinking is an ability that allows you to see things in perspective. What brings multiple benefits to the child who uses it. A) Yes:
- Promotes personal independence. This type of thinking makes the child more free, independent and autonomous. Using abstract thinking implies searching within yourself for answers applicable to reality.
- Analyze probabilities and alternatives. Abstract thinking helps them "travel" to other scenarios and situations to draw conclusions that help them give the best answer.
- Promotes creativity. The search for ideas in the abstract enhances the creative capacity often limited by the material resources at hand.
Starting from one of the advantages of abstract thinking ability, in this case: that of helping to create different possible scenarios starting from an isolated concept, we can deduce the differences that exist between a child's abstract reasoning compared to that of a child. an adult.
Among them we can find:
- The imagination and fantasy can be involved in children's abstract reasoning process.
- Children will generally find simpler and easier solutions.
- The little ones develop fewer possible scenarios because they have less knowledge.
- Children are usually more creative when looking for solutions.
- The solution proposed by the little ones it does not have to be logical or probable.
Children who have a greater capacity for abstract thinking are better at learning in school, they know how to function better socially, they better understand the consequences of their actions, they are more independent.
In order for children to acquire all these benefits that are acquired with abstract thinking, it will be necessary for children to exercise this ability. To do this, activities such as:
- Listen to music (without lyrics).
- Develop the habit of writing, for example, keeping a journal.
- Read books.
- Listen and participate in “adult” conversations.
- Practice exercises with numbers.
All these activities have to be done constantly. With practice and the passage of time, children will improve this skill.
Encouraging abstract thinking in children will be part of their personal growth and beneficial for problem solving in the future.
You can read more articles similar to How to help the child develop abstract thinking, in the On-site Learning category.