Utne Article August 98

greenspun.com : LUSENET : M.Ed./International Falls : One Thread

Utne Article August 98

-- Anonymous, January 05, 1999


The Art of Genius by Michael Michalko, August 1998, pages 73-76.

How To Think Like A Genius

What makes a genius able to create is something that has been studied for many years. The link between intelligence and genius has not been proven because creativity is not the same as intelligence. This article says that the average person thinks reproductively. This means that we solve problems by relying on what has worked for us in the past and then setting out on a direct path toward a solution. A genius thinks productively. This means that when a genius is confronted with a problem he/she will explore all the possible solutions to the problem, not just the obvious solution.

By studying work done by the worlds great geniuses, scholars have identified eight thinking strategies that allow geniuses to be creative. These strategies state that all geniuses look at problems from all angles, make their thoughts visible, produce, make novel combinations, force relationships, and prepare themselves for chance. Michalko writes that the truly great minds dont wait for gifts of chance; they make them happen. The important lesson being that when something interests you, you should stop whatever you are doing and pursue that interest.

As I reflected on these ideas and discussed them with fellow educators, I could see a link between what Glasser teaches us and this article. In a Quality School, students would be allowed to work on areas of interest without time restraints. A students needs would be satisfied and creativity encouraged. As we talked, I wondered how many times I have used teaching methods that unwittingly retarded rather than fostered creativity. Too many times we, as educators, fail to allow students to branch off into an area of their interest because we are bound to deadlines and textbooks. Standardized tests and graduation standard requirements dictate our curriculum.

Richard Feyman, a Nobel Prize winning physicist, wrote that he was given the Nobel Prize for work that he was doing for fun. I was playing--working--really with the same old problems that I loved so much, that I had stopped working on when I went to Los Alamos: my thesis problems; all those old fashion wonderful things. Michalko stated that many ordinary physicists have IQ scores much higher than the extraordinary genius Richard Feyman, whose IQ score is 122. Fun and freedom are two of the basic needs that Glasser tells us we will all try to satisfy. This satisfaction certainly was important in motivating Richard Feyman. I believe that the way that we educate is as important as what we teach. Are our methods of teaching helping to foster creative genius or are we, because of preconceived plans, unable to foster creative genius?

-- Anonymous, January 06, 1999

Moderation questions? read the FAQ