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Schiefelbein, Stacey 99084969

October 2005

Article Summary

Thinking Styles

R.J. Sternberg

The way one person would solve a problem, may not even cross another persons mind to solve the problem the same way. This is due to different thinking styles. This article briefly discusses how this is a problem in schools and in the work field and the different styles that there are and how we can make them all work together instead of isolating groups of individuals because they think differently about viewing and solving situations.

A huge problem in today’s school is the fact that the teachers feel rushed for time to teach the material. They try to cover the material in the fastest comprehendible so that they can move onto the next topic. There is no time to ask questions. This is okay for some of the students, but for others that do not think the way that the teacher is teaching this poses a huge problem, leading the label “stupid” to be stamped on the students forehead simply because they do not process the same way the teacher is teaching. This is known as “Learn My Way- Or Else”. When the student tries to ask a question or solve a problem a different way, their self-creative-thinking style is labeled as “stupid” because it’s not the way the teacher thinks it should be done. This easily discourages students and they begin to retract and then they may be thought of introverted nad socially challenged. And this is due to a teacher. By the time the children reach the college level, they are so afraid of trying things their own way in fear of being labeled as being stupid they simply to the task exactly how the professor tells them. But in order for the students to do that they must be given detailed instructions, if none are given, panic sets in on how to complete the task successfully.

Do to a mismatch in thinking style and teaching style may lead to complications in the progression of the student. Also when a student is put into a specific class because the teacher thinks that they will enjoy it because they are good at it can cause problems because, children may like something and find it easy but not love it. Children liked to be challenged to a certain point, so its easy to see how thinking styles and teaching styles can get mixed and mismatched.

There are different ways to think, known as styles. An ability is how well someone can complete a task. The style is how someone like to complete a task. It is thought that people prefer to think a certain way is as important as how someone thinks. There is judgmental style which the person is very critical. Next there is the mimic-and-memorize method. We all are very familiar with this way of thinking. You see a phrase or word and you use repetition to memorize the information. Then there is the direct method that one learns from direct context. An example of that would be, take an American and stick them over in Spain in a Spanish school where no one speaks English, you could simply call it immersion.

A style is the way one prefers to think and this is an ability we have and choose to use it. Mental Self Government is an alternative way of thinking, it looks parallel in ways from government to our own minds; our country is governed, we govern ourselves; the government needs to be reactive to the world, we need to be reactive to the changes in our lives. Our government and we as humans govern in three main types: judicial, executive, and legislative. The executive branch takes care of the policies, the laws are enacted by the legislative, and the judicial branch rationalize the previous two branches. The same goes for people. The legislate group of people have their own way of doing things, and like to make their own words to their own games, and prefer to solve problems that are not prefabricated. Executive people like to follow problems that are prefabricated for them. Thy like to fill in the missing pieces of the puzzle. The judicial group of people like to evaluate things and to analyze the situation. Global individuals like to deal with big vague situations where details are not so important. Internal individuals are concerned about the details of the specifics, which means they tend to be what I like to call “anal”. External individuals are outgoing, people persons. They enjoy group work and social events. Monarchic individuals are tunnel-vision driven people. They are the ones you really don’t want to get in the path of, because there is a pretty good chance that you will get ran over. Hierarchic individuals are the goal setting, priority setting people. They tend to be more able to hand complex situations. The oligarchic person is similar to the hierarchic individuals except they like to have a time line to complete a task. They sometimes loose track of what needs to be done first to complete a complete set of tasks. The anarchic individual are not very easily self-motivated. Then second to last we have the liberal individual (Gosh is PSU filled with that type) they are the maximizes of change that occurs. The last type is the conservative individual that like the way things are running, avoids change and lives and works in a business professional fashion. All these different groups of individuals all have one thing in common, they all have to be open minded nad flexible to the other groups of individuals.

No one is “smart” and no one is “dumb”. It is just that our thinking styles vary. In order to make the most of our style we must be creative and we must be understanding to those whose thinking styles vary from our own. There is no right way, or no wrong way to think. We think to the liking of our style and best to our ability.

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Stacey Schiefelbein