Bringing Down Goliath


Mastering a task calls for a suitable strategy. Do you approach a problem incrementally or instantaneously? In small steps from a clear starting point or just plunge in in the middle? Some mathematics teachers recommend the last: “go and search the invariants”, they say; other teachers prefer the ‘looking for the knowns’. Selecting the most educational method for their students is of critical concern for teachers. What brings most for the kids given their progress made and current level is a matter of careful decision making (1). One approach tackling this teaching problem is starting from the front end (beginning at a previous point learnt) and progress slowly till the back end, but you might get stuck along the way. The lesson learnt from the study on creativity is that thinking “outside the box” is (sometimes) preferable. When teachers see a child struggling with an assignment it might therefore be a good thing to ‘reset’ and think all over again, taking a different perspective (2) . A lesson well learnt to bring down a nasty problem to manageable proportions. The snack is that it only works well when you bring in knowledge from other domains, i.e, making it all more complex (for a while). That is teacher decision making at it best.

Where to Look? Creative Self-Efficacy, Knowledge Retrieval, and Incremental and Radical Creativity
By K S. Jaussi, & A E. Randel.
Copyright # Taylor & Francis Group,
http://DOI: 10.1080/10400419.2014.961772




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