11 abr. 2011

Teaching People to Think Like Me

I've always wondered whether there was a way of teaching someone how to be smarter. You can teach information, you can teach skills. You can help someone learn stupid tricks to improve their performance, but often students are impervious to learning to change the way they think. I don't mean to change their opinions, which I don't really care about anyway, but to change their thought processes so that they start to see things in a more interesting way - kind of like I do.

What would be the elements of this? (1) Curiosity. Asking questions about why things are the way they are. Not accepting easy or simplistic answers. Not being bored by anything. (2) Dedication. Being immersed enough in something that your perspective is altered. What else?

3 comentarios:

Thomas dijo...

I suppose this is like a master painter asking, "I can teach brush strokes and color composition. But can I change the way they see?" I think Josef Albers tried seriously to get students to see differently. But his method doesn't seem to have involved much more than skills training.

That is, you get them to see/think differently by teaching them how to compose themselves in words or color. Albers emphasized that you should avoid giving them any way of expressing themselves. When students learned how to achieve various color effects this no doubt changed how they perceived color.

He did not (I don't know, really, but I assume he didn't) set out explicitly to get them to be curious about color, or dedicated to it. But I'm sure he accomplished this anyway in many cases.

Vance Maverick dijo...

Actually, I think he did (as did Itten before him). But it's worth noting, if only in brackets, that they both, for all their innovation as pedagogues, were sharply constrained as creators. (I'd rather look at something of Anni Albers', not to speak of e.g. Klee or Kandinsky.)

Andrew Shields dijo...

There's an occasional student like you, Jonathan, or like Thomas (or like me, I guess), who can comment on just about anything in the world because he or she is actually interested in everything, and then there are those who comment on things they are interested in (which can be quite a few things, but still far from everything), and then there are those who are apparently not interested in anything, not even in what they are ostensibly supposed to be interested in (what they are studying). It's the middle group that you can try to tip into being interested in everything, but only a few will make the transition.