The importance of Relevance, Significance and Meaningfulness
Something is relevant when it bears upon or relates to the matter at hand. It is pertinent, appropriate, apt and fit. Normally we look for a close logical relationship with the matter under consideration. This is part of the development of the underlying structure of the subject at hand. When your child is responding to questions related to problems being solved you will want them to give relevant responses.
When your child is asked to work on solving a problem, then the relevance and coherence of original learning become apparent. If she can make relevant responses, it is evidence that during original learning, she was able to relate pieces of learning in a articulate structure.
Keep bringing your child back to respecting the importance of relevanve.
Questions that emphasise relevance
• How does this fact bear upon the issue?
• How does this idea relate to this other idea?
• Can you explain how your example, statement or story is connected to the current issue?
• How does your question relate to the issue?
• How can that idea or concept be applied in practice.
• Can your idea be related to an everyday application?
• How is it relevant? What is its relationship to the issue at hand?
It means having importance, being of consequence, having substantial meaning (meaningfulness). Though many ideas may be relevant, they often are not be equally important so we want our children to be able to identify the most significant information they need to deal with a particular issue? They should be able to identify which of a given group of ideas is the most important, which of these questions is the most significant?
Questions that emphasise significance
Which of these ideas is the most decisive in formulating your answer?
Which of these elements is the most essential?
Does one of these components have more strategic importance than the others?
Is there an element in this explanation or solution that appears to be more crucial or distinctive than others?
Is there an idea here that is exceptional or impressive in terms of the solution to the problem?
What part of this idea most likely has great meaning or lasting effect?
Meaningfulness: Depth of Thinking
When we talk about depth of thinking we mean that the person knows more than a little, has a more profound knowledge of the subject. In the case of literature a person who has read ten major works of classic literature has a good start but cannot be compared to a person who has read over one hundred works. Depth means containing complexities and multiple interrelationships, with thoroughness of thinking that probes beneath the surface, goes deeper, ask is this question simple or complex? Depth includes information: how well does the child know the subject? How much time and information has he acquired in relation to the subject? Depth means complexity, thoroughness, an understanding of intricate details about a subject. It typically involves engaging students’ imaginations and emotions in learning and it builds confidence and pride in their knowledge.
Questions to stimulate depth as well as to ascertain your child’s depth are:
What makes this concept so complex?
What are the components of the concept that must come together?
Can you provide further details of the subject, idea or concept?
In thinking, depth also means to use reasoning processes that are not superficial but truly deal logically with the complexities inherent in the question.