No so Logic, Anyone?


I have used exercises from this book throughout my career as a teacher, but yesterday I was faced with a fact that I never considered, that some things might not be logical in today’s world.

I like using these puzzles to get student’s thinking in ways outside of numerical algorithms, and I also find it fun that students really get hooked on these puzzles.  It is fun to see them working on their critical thinking.  Today’s issue came from the table logic section- and this is the first time that I have come across this problem.  The problem:

Table Pic

1. Joe Flow is Carol’s partner.

2. Jill is Carol’s brother’s partner.

3. Daryl Barrel is Carol’s brother.

4. Jill’s last name is Mill

5. Jill is sitting to the left of Joe.

Using the previous diagram, your solution should be:

Table Pic

Any guesses where my students had problems with this logic puzzle?

At first neither did I.  Then by the second class, it dawned on me.  I teach in schools with a high Native American population.  One trend with our local families is extended families, those with multiple fathers and mothers, aunts, uncles, cousins.  The hang up with my students were hints that stated that Daryl and Carol are siblings.  Just because they are brother and sister does not mean they carry the same last name.

Be careful of what you think is obvious, transparent or logical in your classroom.  Our ever-changing society is changing the rules on what may have been logical when you grew up.

2 thoughts on “No so Logic, Anyone?

  1. SOME things might not be logical? lol. MOST of the world today seems illogical. lol. I’ve actually had many students over the years overthink logic problems like this. Everything is open to interpretation and culture along with differences in mindset make most of life more colorful (gray) instead of black and white. When students had different answers, I’ve always let them “see me” to explain, told them why the answer was blank, and given them credit for their reasoning if it was sound. I know there’s no way to do that on testing, but it really gives validation to reasoning. There are no clear cut answers. People are not computers.

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