Intelligent Systems And Their Societies Walter Fritz

Elementary Thinking

For children at school, about 11 to 12 years old.
To think well is so important that it should be taught at school, at the same time as all the other subjects. Without thinking well, all these are of little use.
Information should not be taught. The teacher should request the children to look up the information in the internet. Also many schools still teach subjects, that 90 percent of the children will not use during their life. That should be discontinued. On the other hand, relations with other persons are daily. Good and useful relations should be taught.


children at school should first be stimulated to act, to do something, anything. But when they are about 11 years old, they should start to do the right thing:
When we want to do something it is important to ask ourselves what we want to accomplish, what is our objective, our goal. If we act without an objective in mind, we are like a driver in a car who does not know in which direction to go. He will get nowhere.

Ask the children:


The function of a thing is what it is good for, what it can do. For instance the function of a refrigerator is to keep food cool. When the food is cool, it doesn't spoil as easily. The function of a school is to help children to learn. The function of a car is to transport people. Don't ever do something without thinking what function this will serve. If you do, it may be good for nothing!

Ask the children:


When you hear or read something, always check if it could be true. If it is a fact or just a nice story. Compare what you hear with what you know, with your previous experiences. That what you heard, does it seem possible? Who said it? Can you verify what she/he said?
If that what you heard contradicts something you already know, one of the two facts must be wrong. Think carefully, ask further questions, before accepting one as true.

When a child tells something, ask:


It is important to train and use the imagination (Not fantasy). Later in its life, the child will need imagination to reach complicated goals. Here the child will have to imagine the results of the first action, imagine the new situation and see what can be done then. Related with that is prediction. It would be well if the child starts imagining the result of an action prior to doing it. This may involve actions with things or people. But it is better to start with things because results are imagined much easier.
Imagine what the results of your action will be, what will other persons think and do.


There are very many games where the player is induced to think. These are excellent for learning to use sub objectives and alternative actions. These games should be learned and played at school. The students will like them and they will learn while playing. But do not always use the same game, or the play may become automatic instead of requiring thinking about what the consequences of the move are and what the opponent will probably answer. Require that the students write down the best two alternatives of each move.
Games that only require fast reflexes, where the play is an automatic response, obviously are useless for learning objectives and making alternate plans.

Many card games, board games, table games and computer games are very good for this. For instance: chess, checkers, dominoes, backgammon, scrabble, monopoly, strategic conquest (computer game) are some examples.


Alternate Plans, different ways of doing something
When we have to do something important, it is good to find at least two ways of doing it. We will have to look hard to find two ways, but they always exist. Sometimes, the manner that looked not so good in the beginning really is better in the long run. Check immediate and later results. When at least two plans have been made and improved as far as possible, choose one and do it.

Tell the children:


It is good to observe your own emotions when thinking about doing something. Many times our emotions tell us if, what we plan to do, is good or bad. When we have positive emotions it will be good, If we have negative emotions it probably will be bad.

Always try to shorten the time during which you feel negative emotions. Negative emotions are also necessary, but for a sane (unpolluted) emotional balance, positive emotions should predominate.

Tell the children, or write on the blackboard:

Here are the positive emotions:

Negative Emotions:

Tell the children:


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Last Edited 20 November 2013 / Walter Fritz
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