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Sunday, June 3, 2018

Deliberate Thinking v. Digging a Trench

Deliberate Thinking v. Digging a Trench
Everyone who is reading this article, everyone who will never read it, everyone everywhere on the whole planet at a certain point in their life had to learn how to walk (assuming normal health conditions).
We do not remember that experience, but we repeat that experience again when we learn how to swim, or how to ride a bicycle, or how to dance.
On the surface, the experience of learning how to walk, how to swim, how to dance may look differently. However, all those learning experiences have essentially the same underlining structure, the same stages, and more importantly – the same goal, which is learning how to govern our own body; how to make different parts of our body make right movements in the right order, with the right speed and stretch and force, without thinking about it.
Of course, learning how to walk stands out from other similar experiences because it is the first experience of the type, occurs at a very yearly age, leave no memories of that, and based solely on involuntary actions and not guided by conscious intentions. Learning how to swim or dance or ice skating is based on voluntary actions and guided by conscious intentions – “I want to learn how to do this!”
Most people do not go much far in their learning. However, gymnasts, and circus professionals, and many sport professionals, actors and professional dancers demonstrate extraordinary skills for governing their bodies, which is the result of a long and exhausting training. For the rest of us learning how to govern our own body stops after we take the last gym class.
Our ability to think develops in a way very similar to our ability to walk.
Without special training it reaches the level usual for an average representative of our cultural group. Not many people state as their goal “I want to learn how to think”. For the most of us learning how to think is also based solely on involuntary actions and not guided by conscious intentions. It happens while we grow due to the need to fit in the social environment surrounding us, such as family, friends, school.
However, the fact of the matter is that the large number of our teachers - when they teach our students - do not act much differently from animal trainers training animals. Hence, for the vast part of the population a school does not represent the environment sufficient for the development of their thinking abilities. When that happens, when a student learns who to think, usually it is not because of the efforts of his/her teachers, but despite those efforts.
Since naturally developed thinking ability does not go beyond the limits set by the social and intellectual environment, in order to go beyond those limits we have to change the environment.
In a school, the environment is structured around the subjects which students have to learn.
However, the material itself does not guaranty the advancement of thinking skills.
Of course, when a student is immersed in the material which requires answering many logical questions, he or she inevitably will pick up some reasoning skills.
It is like a person who has to dig a long trench and does it every day eventually builds up the strength of his/her muscles (using this analogy – the best school subject acting as a “trench” which helps to build up “brain muscles” is physics – if it is properly taught).
But in order to advance the development of a person’s reasoning skills and thinking abilities the person has to be deliberately taught how to think, how to reason, how to build a logical chain of statements leading from a question to the answer.
A person has to learn how to guide his/her own thoughts, how to govern his/her own thinking. A person has to learn who to generate and manage his/her own deliberate thinking process, in the same way the person learns how to manage his/her own body movements.
A person learning how to dance needs a good coach who knows how to dance, but more importantly, who knows how to teach how to dance.
Similarly, a person learning how to manage/govern his/her own thinking process needs a teacher who can think, who knows what thinking is and how thinking is happening, who can demonstrate thinking, and who can teach this ability to students.
This ability – ability to teach students how to think – differentiate “an animal trainer” type teacher from an actual Teacher (a.k.a. TeachSmith).
Teachers themselves do not attain this ability in a natural way – like learning how to walk. Teachers also need an experienced coach who knows what thinking is and how thinking is happening, who can demonstrate thinking, and who can teach this ability to teachers (for more, visit www.GoMars.XYZ).
=> The next "chapters" in this continuous discussion on "rote memorization" v. "critical thinking".

BTW: the way public education is structured greatly affects the stability of the society; e.g. read “Why Did Russian Cyber Forces Beat Their U.S. Adversaries in 2016? The Answer Is Rooted In The State Of Education!


Thank you for visiting,
Dr. Valentin Voroshilov
Education Advancement Professionals

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