go At the foot of this article you will find the answers to the quiz I set in my last post.
follow url When highly creative people are asked for the secrets of their success their responses can often be summarized with these words: learn from others and work hard.
http://sunnysidepta.org/special-friends/?share=google-plus-1 This response may seem counterintuitive, because we tend to ascribe the achievement of creative thinkers and doers in all disciplines to their superior intellect, flashes of genius or innate talent. Certainly, superior intellect and great talent are a blessing, but alone they are not enough. Nobody, however intelligent or highly skilled, ever achieved creative greatness by accident.
Most of us do not aspire to the prominence of the people quoted in my quiz. Nevertheless, they set an example to us all. They should inspire every teacher and every parent to help their children succeed at school and in life.
maxalt wafers price The passion that has driven great teachers over the centuries is the belief that all children can and will succeed. These teachers never place limits – in any subject or skill – on what their students may achieve. They believe, like Mozart and Pele, that practice makes perfect, that we can always learn from others, and that hard work pays off. In recent years this belief has increasingly been vindicated by research into the capacity of the human brain to grow throughout and beyond childhood, and by evidence of specific ways in which children and adults best learn. As our children and grandchildren grow up in a world where they will need to complement, and probably compete with, the growth of artificial intelligence and other as yet unknown circumstances, they will need to be equipped with the highest levels of thinking skills. (They will also need a high degree of emotional intelligence, and I will write on this in a future post). Here are a few simple suggestions for the parents and teachers of today’s children:
- Have high expectations for your child, but express these in a gentle, optimistic way. Your child is likely to accept these expectations for herself and grow into them.
- Give your child room to experiment and express her curiosity, in whatever bizarre way these endeavors may manifest themselves!
- Show interest in what your child likes to do. Ask about the book she is reading, attend the basketball games she plays in, suggest she invites her friends round to your home.
- Encourage your child to ask questions, then more questions, and keep on asking questions! A child’s questions are far more important than her answers. Albert Einstein’s mother famously knew this when every day she would ask her son, “What good questions did you ask in school today?” He grew up to ask some very important questions indeed.
- Ask your child questions that lead her thinking up through the levels of Bloom’s taxonomy (refer to my post of May 28th). Don’t focus on questions that require a single, ‘correct’ answer. Rather, ask open-ended questions that cause your child to ponder about the nature the physical world and human experience. Questions such as “For what reasons do you think…?”, or “How would you assess the importance of…?”, or, “How could you solve this problem…?”, or “What if…?” Don’t worry – there are lots of possible answers to these questions and you don’t have to be an expert!
- Encourage your child to make connections. Lead their thinking onwards from concrete topics and facts towards broad underlying concepts. For example, after watching a film together ask her what other films or books it reminds her of. You may be surprised where the conversation will take you both. (Refer to my post of May 14th).
- Remember that creative thinking is not an unreachable goal. It is simply the next level up from critical thinking. It means evaluating existing knowledge in an area of personal passion and taking it to a new level that is interesting and useful for yourself and others. It could be making a new computer app, writing a new workplace policy, or devising a new way of hitting a free kick in soccer. Or it could be finding a new way of bringing your local community together for a common purpose.
In ways like this we can help give our children a good start in life, a start that will enable them to achieve what Abraham Maslow called ‘self-actualization’. They will not all grow up to create a new mathematical theorem or the next great fashion in shoes, but they will find a deep sense of fulfilment.
Next time: The importance of teaching your child resilience.
Answers to the quiz:
1. f W. A. Mozart Classical composer
2. d Vera Wang Fashion designer
3. h Pablo Picasso Artist
4. a Maya Angelou Writer and civil rights activist
5. e Pele Footballer
6. g Bill Gates Technologist and philanthropist
7. c Thomas Edison Inventor and businessman
8. b Isaac Newton Mathematician and physicist