Logic, causation and correlation in the curriculum
Tamar Kasriel is a futurist and MD of Futureal
Logic, causation and correlation should be a part of primary and secondary education. Rather than being taught as a subset of maths or stats, these are essential life skills which every child should have the right to learn (e.g. as part of PSHE). We don’t know exactly what jobs will look like in the future, or what work will mean as the continued development of technology and artificial intelligence changes the nature of work and human contribution to it. We can be sure that being able to use logic to analyse data and evidence, to appreciate the difference between cause and correlation will help people navigate future challenges, whether in their personal, economic or social life.
If citizens can understand and internalise the principles of logic and causation vs correlation from a young age, then evidence-seeking and constructive questioning could become socially normal and acceptable. A generation which is educated in this would be less receptive to dangerous irrationality, and able to challenge whatever ‘truthy’ but flawed movement is going to follow anti-vaccination or climate change denial.
Tamar Kasriel is a futurist and MD of Futureal, focusing on consumer and technological change. She began her career at The Guardian newspaper’s Medialab (now Guardian Online), moving on to WPP to become Director at the Henley Centre. Her book, Futurescaping, on the technique of scenario planning and its use in business and personal life was published by Bloomsbury in 2012. She is the Chair of Magic Breakfast, a charity which helps schools set up and run breakfast clubs.