Excuse my ignorance

Creative thinking…a topic which in truth, I have never really gotten into the weeds of until now. Palgrave Study Skills say

Creative thinking skills use very different approaches to critical thinking skills. They involve a much more relaxed, open, playful approach. This can require some risk-taking. Creative thinking skills involve such approaches as:

  • Looking for many possible answers rather than one.
  • Allowing yourself to make wild and crazy suggestions as well as those that seem sensible.
  • Not judging ideas early in the process – treat all ideas as if they may contain the seeds of something potentially useful.
  • Allowing yourself to doodle, daydream or play with a theory or suggestion.
  • Being aware that these approaches necessarily involve making lots of suggestions that are unworkable and may sound silly.
  • Making mistakes.
  • Learning from what has not worked as well as what did.

I suddenly feel like my teaching has been considerably lacking. I currently teach a mechanical apprenticeship and I have lost count of the amount of times I have discussed or written the importance of critical thinking with my students. I want and need my students to think critically, to ensure they make informed and educated decisions…however, when I think about my career, I can vividly remember many occasions where the ‘wild and wacky’ actually took me to the right decision. In the Royal Air Force we would joke that the electricians and avionics technicians would use chicken bones to solve mystery problems…maybe this wasn’t so far fetched, perhaps it was their creativity which aided their problem solving. How may times have you sat in a meeting and someone has said “ok, hear me out..this may sound stupid but…” and then moments later someone says “hey, you have a point there”.

Although I say “excuse my ignorance” I think I have unconsciously taught creative thinking, I was brought up in a professional sense where the phrase “no such thing as a bone (stupid) question” was often used and encouraged; I still use this phrase to this day. I think the point is that I have never really angled my teaching to support this so, I’m sorry students…please, ignore my ignorance.

John….6/10….must try harder.

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