Understanding, Supporting, and Assessing the Contextual Reasoning of Diverse Students

Authors: Carl Romstad and Milton Dehn
Published on SchoolhouseEducationalServices.Com: November 6, 2023

Considered to be real-life, practical problem solving, contextual reasoning is the application of concrete, contextual, and in-the-moment problem solving. It is significantly less reliant on abstract and mathematical logic and deductive thinking and is used in nearly every day-to-day
interaction a person has outside of the formal classroom and environment.

Contextual reasoning may also be thought of as informal reasoning. Currently, practitioners primarily measure formal and fluid reasoning abilities to make projections about a person’s cognitive potential. However, neglecting to measure contextual and informal reasoning comes with the risk of not understanding the true potential of an individual. Formal and fluid reasoning tests do not provide a complete assessment of an individual’s overall reasoning ability.

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